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Monday, August 15, 2016

Pride....Sin With Attitude!

Here's the thing about pride, it is sneaky. You don't always realize you are being prideful. Pride can hide as ordinary behavior, and become disguised. It is often disguised as a noble deed until God unmasks my motivation and confronts me. The joy of walking with God 24/7 day after day, is that beautiful, gentle, loving nudge of instruction.

When Jesus teaches me, and the light goes on, it is truly a wonderful feeling. More often than I would like, I do things with wrong motives. I don't always see how that looks to God, until He shows me. Sometimes God uses scripture, sometimes a sermon, and sometimes the wise words of my husband John. Most recently He used our Pastor Curt's Sunday

This came out of the blue, and blind sighted me. That's usually the way it is, and why God is so precise in our training! Many heard that message, but for me it was perfect for me to hear at that time. God's ways are always individual, uniquely for our situation, perfect, and humbling. What God showed me was, I am still hanging on to a part of my past hurts. I had a verbally abusive past, and even though God has walked me through it, and I have forgiven, I am still holding a part of that hurt. It is like my badge of honor as a survivor.

I had vowed to deal with it, then leave it behind, but slowly I pulled it back out, and pridefully hung on to it. "See world....I was verbally, emotionally abused, but I am a survivor." I was proud of the pain, and the past, because it made me unique, and it was a stronghold I let lie to me about who I am. God showed me through this message, the pride that enjoys hanging on. It was my crutch. I made choices, and did wrong because of the way I was raised. That may be true, but that is not who I am. I am special and unique because God gave me life. God in me is what leads me now.

The time has come to acknowledge my stronghold, and declare it my enemy! It is never easy to admit you are full of pride. I don't like to be reminded that I have faults, and sins, but I am grateful Jesus will never leave me there. There are always new lessons to learn.

Over many years, God has used the quiet, voice of reason of my husband to show me sin I wasn't acknowledging. I used to hate that. I rebelled, I felt sorry for me. And I hated admitting I was full of pride. It does amaze me that someone who grew up with no self-confidence could still be so prideful.
Maybe because I was always put down, I developed a very protective attitude for myself. That attitude unfortunately led to pride.

Pride gave me that false sence of value. It took many years of walking with Jesus, and listening to Him to show me how convoluted my thinking had become. I have learned that when God chastises you, and you see where you fell short, and then He teaches a hard lesson, with the right path, it is freeing! It is like holding your breathe for a long time, and then breathing again!  It's refreshing, and freeing.

I hated when I found I was not as great as I thought, and my husband lovingly pointed it out. 
It made me feel so inadequate. That was the old stronghold of my past rearing it's head. I may still not like to have my faults out in front of me, but I am grateful that John holds me accountable.

The latest lesson, I thought was very unjust, but as usual, it was something I needed. I post a lot on Facebook. When John pointed that out, I was hurt, and a little angry, and a whole lot defensive. I post a lot of encouragement, prayers, and Biblical truths, so I thought that justified it. Through my husband's comments, I had to admit, if I am honest, I also do it for me. Ouch!  There was that old enemy pride again. I like having others notice my words. I like when friends agree with me. I do sometimes lose track of my real motives, and let my ego, my pride rule.

My initial motives are to minister to others, and I care so much for my friends and family, I love sharing encouragement. I can't ignore the fact that my pride is in there too. Accolades are addictive. I didn't ever have much of that in my growing up years, so a part of me believes I need that to complete my identity. Yes, God will keep working on me until I join Him. These are hard lessons sometimes, but I am loved, I am important, and I have a God and a husband who have my back!