22 Mar Servant of All
If we want to grow in Christ, we have to be proactive to let go of one big obstacle that’s in our way: PRIDE. Jesus gave us a perfect example of humility to follow. In this episode, I’ll be sharing how we can empty ourselves of self so we can be filled with Christ!
Info from the Show
- Find out the problems with pride
- Take steps to live in a state of repentance everyday
- Stop playing the blame game
Links and Resources
Hey, friends, you are listening to the Graceful Life podcast. I am so thrilled that you are here, and I just wanna welcome you to this podcast. If it’s the first episode that you’ve ever listened to, I am your host, Ashley Varner. I am a Jesus girl, a wife, a mom, a worship leader, a Christian teacher, and I’m here for you to help you really reach new heights in your relationship with the Lord, in your ministry, and let’s just jump right in.
In this episode, we’re gonna be talking about the servant of all. All throughout March, we have been talking about growing in Christ. One of the areas that I find really that stops women from growing in Christ is pride. Please hear my heart whenever I say this in this episode. I am definitely not on the other side of this. This isn’t something that I have mastered and no longer have a problem with. To be honest, I think that any person who says that is dealing with pride anyway, because we all have fallen short of the glory of God. We all still struggle with things in our lives, and pride is definitely a big one for a lot of people. We’re gonna talk about it today and how we can just spend every day pushing against pride that just seems to be all around us and really just follow in the way of the Lord, where he leads us. He definitely was the servant of all, and so he can teach us to do the ame thing.
Pride definitely is something that’s gonna keep you from reaching new heights in Christ. Any time that you are wanting to fill yourself up with the Lord, you can only fill yourself up as much as is empty. If you aren’t emptying yourself first, you’re not gonna be able to fill yourself with him.
James 4:6 says, “He gives us more grace.” You don’t have to be perfect in order to be striving to be humble and really striving against pride. It is true that God says that he opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble. If you wanna live a life full of grace, and if you wanna live a life of God’s favor, one of the first steps is to being humble and realizing that whenever you humble yourself before the Lord, he’s gonna lift you up. It says that in James 4:10. If we wanna reach new heights, if we want God to lift us up and to grow closer to him, then we have to humble ourselves.
One of the problems with pride is that it isolates us. Whenever we think that we can do no wrong and that other people are at a level lower than us, it begins to isolate us. One thing that we can do to counter that is to admit when we’re wrong. Now this is something that I have worked on in my parenting because I have had times, I’m just gonna be honest, when I have had pride with my children and been wrong in something, either a decision that I made or how I responded to them. I always made a point to admit to my children when I’m wrong and to ask for their forgiveness because I want them to know that their mom’s not perfect, and that whenever I admit that I’m wrong, they are practicing forgiveness, they are realizing that I’m not perfect. That really bonds us and that helps me not to be isolated from them.
Admitting when you’re wrong is definitely the first step to really accepting Christ whenever we are in this repentant state. That very first time whenever we asked the Lord into our lives, we’re admitting we’re wrong. That’s the first step. But it’s not something that we only do once. I wanna encourage you to really consider living in a state of repentance.
If you really wanna knock out pride in your life, and you really wanna strive to push that out as something that you struggle with, then learn how to live in a state of repentance. Every morning you can pray and ask the Lord to show you the places that you need to repent. That doesn’t mean that you’re constantly just feeling like you can never do anything right, but what God is gonna do is he’s gonna grow you in that.
I have heard people say before, “Well, I don’t feel convicted about something that I’m doing.” Just because you don’t feel convicted doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel convicted. The closer that we are to the Lord and the more that we grow closer to him, the more we’re gonna feel convicted because he’s cleaning us out. If we’re not listening to him, then we’re not gonna hear his convicting voice in our heart. The closer that we get to him, the more that we’re living in a state of repentance, the more we’re gonna be able to hear his voice. He’s gonna show us more and more things that we can do to let go of pride in our lives and really say no to self in our lives, and we’re gonna grow closer to him in the process.
One way that you can do that is by reading Psalm 51. It’s definitely the best chapter I feel in the Bible for having a repentant heart. Just saying, “Lord, create a clean heart in me. Renew your Spirit in me.” Just coming to the Lord and saying, “God, I want you to reveal to me anytime whenever pride has come up in my life. Wherever it might be, big or small, Lord, I want to let go of pride in my life, and I wanna follow you as being a servant and living in humility.”
Another way that pride shows up in our lives is whenever we tend to blame other people. Everything has an excuse, everything is you’re just blaming somebody else for it. Instead of doing that, whenever we knock pride out of our lives and as we’re striving to grow in Christ, one thing that we can definitely do is take responsibility for ourselves. Whenever we take responsibility for our actions and our thoughts and the way that we treat other people, that’s when we can actually start to change. Whenever we are consistently saying, “Well, that was your fault,” or “I was late because of traffic,” or whatever it is, all those things you can’t change them if you’re just blaming other people. If you really want change, take responsibility and say, “I’m choosing to change myself,” even if other people are to blame, even if that’s just the truth, you can still change your reactions, you can still change things in your life by taking responsibility for something.
I wanna tell an example of this. Recently, I was really discontent in a position that I had. I found myself really blaming other people and placing the blame on other people. I could hear myself. One night I was having dinner with my husband, and I was kind of venting to him. Poor guy, he probably had heard this conversation so many more times than just this one time. I really just heard myself speaking, and I could tell that I was just blaming other people. It was almost like I had put myself on a pedestal saying, “Well, I have no responsibility in this, and it’s all their fault.” That’s really not a good place to be.
I’m saying this and I had that disclosure at the beginning of this episode that this is something that I still struggle with on a regular basis, but the Lord spoke to me and told me to look at myself. He said, “What can you do to change this situation?” In this particular situation, I wasn’t in charge. In my thinking, I thought there’s no change that I can possibly make because I’m not the one in charge. Well, I could change me. I could change my mindset. I could change the way that I prepared, the way that I spoke to people.
Once I started doing that, once I was willing to take responsibility, I was able to really move toward a solution in an attitude of servanthood. I was able to look at others as better than myself. I was able to see circumstances from other people’s perspectives, and it made a big difference in the way that I spoke to people. To be honest, it even made changes in my circumstance, because I was taking responsibility for change.
That’s the part where we think that doesn’t really have much to do with pride, but anytime that we’re blaming other people, what we’re saying is that we’re holding them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves, and we’re giving them permission to make changes in our lives, when really we can make those changes ourselves just by taking responsibility and taking ownership for the circumstances that are around us.
An example of this, and I actually didn’t get this example on my own, it’s actually out of the book, the Ten X Rule, but the author says, and I believe it’s written by Grant Cardone, but he says, for an example, if your power goes out in your home, you can call the electric company, you can be angry with them, but really what can you do? You can really place blame on other people and feel like you’re out of control, but whenever you consider your electricity, is there something that you can do to take ownership of that? In his book, well, you could get a generator. You could have things prepared. You can have survival type stuff available, candles, things like that.
Once you start to take ownership of something, once you say, “I’m responsible for this,” then you can start to make changes and you cannot be put in a position like that anymore. While most of us, it would be easy just to call the electric company and say, “Hey, the power’s out,” and even get angry at them sometimes, we can instead learn from that situation and say, okay, if this is something that’s super important to me, if having electricity 24/7 is important to me, then I need to take steps to be able to do that and ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
That’s just a really simple example, but if you consider in your spiritual life, sometimes we blame the pastor for not giving a word that really speaks to our heart, or we blame the worship leader for not having a brand new song every week or whatever it is. Instead, you can go to the Word of God. You can take responsibility for your own spiritual walk and look into devotions that you can read at home, get into the Word yourself, listen to worship music on your own. As soon as you start to take responsibility for that, that’s when you’re really gonna start seeing growth in your spiritual walk, when you start to take ownership of it and choose to make changes in that perspective.
The Bible is really clear when it talks about pride. It says that pride will cause a downfall in your life. We’ve all heard of the seven deadly sins. Pride is one of them. Sloth, gluttony, anger, envy, greed, and lust, all of those different deadly sins. As I was thinking about that list, I realized how pride really is at the root of every one of those sins. Now, that’s not the only sins that there are, but just for the sake of time in this episode, I wanted to talk through each one of these sins, because I really believe that pride is at the root of every sin that we commit.
Greed is wanting something yourself that somebody else has. Gluttony is actually similar to greed. It’s the action of taking too much in and this excess, whether it’s with food or substance or whatever, is saying, “I deserve this. I want more.” Lust is the need to fulfill unspiritual desires in the wrong way. Envy is jealousy wanting what someone else has. Sloth, being lazy about doing something, even to the point where you feel like you don’t have to do it, so there’s definitely pride there. Anger or wrath, feeling like you have been mistreated or you deserve to be angry. Then pride is really just having more of us than of God. Pride is saying I wanna choose my way over his way.
The exact opposite of that is being humble and being a servant. We see a perfect example of that in Jesus Christ. In Philippians 2, we see the perfect example of Christ’s humility. Paul was telling the Philippian church to imitate the humility of Christ. I’m just gonna read a couple of verses here to you because I can’t say it better than Paul says it. I’m gonna read Philippians 2:5-11. It says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
I just love that. It gives me goosebumps even just reading it. What it’s saying is even though Jesus was God, he didn’t use that to his own advantage. Instead, he used his pureness as God to come to earth as a man and save us from our sins. Because of that, because of that humility, because he did that voluntarily, God exalted him to the name that is above every name.
If we wanna be like him, if we want to really become a servant of all, we have to let go of pride. It can’t be something that’s just done once or twice. It has to be a daily death to self. It has to be every day saying, “You know what? I’m gonna choose his choice over my choice. I’m gonna choose his will over my will. I’m gonna choose the benefit of someone else over what would benefit me the most.”
Whenever you start living that way, ladies, can I just tell you that you are going to see such growth in your spiritual walk, you’re gonna be closer to the Lord, you’re gonna be experiencing new heights in your relationship with him and in your ministries serving him that you aren’t gonna wanna go back. There’s something about choosing to humble yourself before the Lord and say, “God, I know I’m nothing without you. I know that I am a sinner that is only saved by your grace.” He uses that. He loves to use humble people. He loves the broken and contrite spirit. He will bless you for it.
I hope that this episode encouraged you, and maybe this was an eye opener to some pride issues that might be in your life. I know that we all could use this. I’m probably gonna come back and listen to this over and over, because pride is definitely something that I want to squash in my life, I want to say no to pride in my own life, and at the same time it’s something that I struggle with just because it seems like every sin is rooted somewhere in pride. The sooner that we can really seek humility and imitate the humility of Christ, the closer we’re gonna be to the Lord and the more we’re gonna be able to see his light shine through us and really see growth in our relationship with him.
I hope that you enjoyed this episode, and I will see you next week.
Thanks for joining me!
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