pride. I’ve wrestled with it all my life, constantly thinking too much of myself. too prideful to ask for help. too prideful to accept help. too prideful to shut my mouth.
I am one to compare myself to others. I see the great things others do & in my heart, I know I can do that too. so I set for myself a high bar that I must reach. if they can do that, so can I.
is this pride? or is it just failure? I tell myself: all A’s, 1st place, do it right the first time, finish the project, be all things for all people. but when I can’t reach the high bar, I fall. I plummet. I sink. I fail.
I live in captivity. I live in pride.
I think of the master who, going on a trip, distributed his wealth to the hands of his servants to take care of till his return. to one he gave 5 talents. to another 2. & to the last, 1 talent. he gave each servant the amount he knew they could handle.
but what if the servant with 1 talent thought he could handle the 5 talents. instead of abiding in the joy of investing, multiplying, & using his 1 talent, he longs for more. he is not content. he thinks he is better than what the master deemed him to be.
Dad wrote me a short note & left it in my bible:
“pride keeps us from seeing or hearing God- His grace, His forgiveness. many times we are harder on ourselves than God because we are trying to meet God’s standard through our own strength. working in our own strength is actually deceiving ourselves.”
wise words from a father who sees. who sees his eldest girl get frustrated & beat herself up when she gets a C. who sees her run a good race, but feels like a failure because she was passed. who sees a child, burdened by the guilt of her mistakes, the guilt of past relationships, of childhood sins, of not reaching the bar.
the lies. they rush into my head. you can do better than that. they weave their way into each thought. they bend around the corners, taking their time. waiting for the opportune moment… to STRIKE! the damage is done. they’ve left the venom of failure. they do not stay long. just long enough for me to believe them.
pride. it’s stopping me from using & enjoying the 1 talent God has given me. I feel the need to be better, when God just wants me to, in joy, use what I have. so how do I rid myself of yet another bondage? how do I redeem thoughts that have been there all my life?
with thanksgiving. giving of thanks for what I have been given, what I can handle. so when the lies creep in, I force my eyes to see what I have, not what I have not.
at least this is a start.
& what have I? what has God given me? a trip to africa. a flight across an ocean. a call to leave comfort & join discomfort. why? well what else but more open heart surgery! more digging out the black roots in my heart. more separation of the good from the bad. more sanctifying. more cleaning. in hope of more holiness.