Do you know what Bible verse I hate the most?
Well really, it’s actually a topic. Do you know what topic in the Bible I hate the most? Anytime the preacher starts talking about it, I start to wiggle and squirm. I start to feel the whole Church turn and look at me. Sometimes, I can see them shaking their heads while they point and wag their judgmental little fingers at me. Something like your mom or maybe a school teacher would do anytime you messed up.
It’s PRIDE! P.R.I.D.E.
I hate it. I don’t even like hearing the word. Or even typing it. It just gives me the willies. It feels like a cuss word. Something that might have gotten my mouth washed out with soap as a youngen. It’s something you should never dare say in public. Let alone in Church. Come on pastor, what the heck are you doing?!?! But is it the pastor’s fault? It can’t be. I feel the same way when my wife uses it. Or I read it. Regardless of where I hear it, who says it or how it comes up, it makes me feel queasy. It makes me want to put my head in my hands and cry out for my mama. (Cause she always makes everything feel better, duh!) It seems as though the word alone causes my pits to stink, palms to sweat and cheeks to become flushed
As I recover from my hip surgery (story here) my sweet sister in law has graciously hired me part time to come in a couple days a week to take over their (Angel Oak Creative) #SocialMedia and do some consulting.(So go and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and like us on Facebook). Talk about a transition. And my pride’s been killing me. These are some rather embarrassing but honest examples of the war that wages on inside my head during the few meetings I’ve had “in my real world job.”
“Don’t they know who I am.”
“I won an MLS Cup for goodness sake.”
“I don’t belong here.”
“I should totally be running this meeting right now!”
“How come no one’s paying me any attention?”
“Man, this “real job” thing sucks!”
“I wish I could tackle someone right now.”
“I should just quit. What the heck am I doing here?”
I could go on and on. I know, I know. I’m seriously screwed up. My poor wife! But no joke, these are the battles I am having. I do consider myself a humble guy. But God’s opening my eyes to the work that still needs to be done in my heart. And the key, it has to be done in the heart. Jesus has never been about behavior modification. That’s religion. Those guys that hung Jesus up on that cross, that’s what they were about. I can certainly relate!
Enough of my opinion about pride.
Let’s consult the only One whose opinion matters. Here’s what He has to say:
- Proverbs 8:13 – “I hate pride and arrogance.”
- Proverbs 11:2 – “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
- Psalms 10:4 – “The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that He is dead.”
I have a pride problem yall. I think we all do. It’s something that we are born with. We all want the glory. We want to make everything about us. Our rights. We deserve this and that. Me. Me. Me. Give me mine.
This is a battle that I have struggled with my whole life. And It’s a fight I’ll keep fighting. And God’s working. Because even though God loves me, He loves me way too much to let me stay the way I am. And the more connected I am to Jesus, the easier it is to decrease (John 3:30). I know that our identity and who we are as a person is only determined by one thing: what and who Jesus says we are! Nothing else, absolutely nothing else defines us. In 100 years (maybe even in 5) no one will ever even know that I was a professional soccer player. And when I enter those pearly gates and fall down at the feet of sweet Jesus, He will not say, “welcome home Wells, my awesome professional soccer player.”
Is soccer important to me.
Yes! I’m proud to say that I was a professional athlete! But, it’s only by His grace. Thank You Jesus!
Although I josh and kid, I do recognize that pride is very deadly and dangerous. C.S. Lewis put it like this: “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind… it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.”
So where do we go from here?
The exact opposite direction. Humility. Humility’s not thinking less of yourself, it’s simply thinking of yourself less! We must fight the temptations to focus on ourselves and we do this by focusing on Jesus and others. We must “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt us” (1 Pet 5:6). Because as Jesus said, “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matt 23:12).
In laymen’s terms, let’s eat some humble pie y’all!