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Me Myself and Pride

Earlier today I was tempted to share a shocking story where “I was right and he was wrong” but the Holy Spirit stopped me. As I reached for the phone I felt a tugging inside my heart. So I asked myself, “Does this honor God?”

I knew by sharing the story it would become gossip, and the root of gossip is a stronghold of pride. Knowing this truth,  I resisted the urge to dial the phone and share my “victory.”

I’m beginning to realize how pride wounds others, not just the person carrying the stronghold. When I accepted immediate correction and spiritual redirection I saw myself delivered of the stronghold.

image source: HauteStock

Self-examination led me into the Scriptures and then deeper into my heart with prayer. As I dig into my past and look for attachments where pride took root it wasn’t difficult to find.

I was the little girl with blond hair and blue eyes, getting verbal rewards for perfection and physical disciplines for my many mistakes. In my innocence I taught my brain that pride feels good and failure hurts. Whenever I wasn’t perfect, I was spanked… and it hurt.

To avoid physical pain I adopted the posture of pride. We all know what the Bible says…pride comes before a fall.

While God is showing me I’m mostly delivered from a stronghold of pride, He will test my endurance.

Sometimes He puts people into my life to mirror what I dislike in myself.

When I gossip or take a victory lap because someone else has failed, the real loser is me.

WIth the help of the Holy Spirit and great Bible studies, I’ve learned to slow down and practice self-control. Before I type a reply or call a friend, I’m anticipating how my actions look from Heaven’s view.

Even if nobody on earth knows, the authorities in Heaven know when I’m self-centered and walking by sight- not by faith.

The glory belongs to God in all things, not in me.

If you’re read this far into my story, then I’ll add personal application too. Here’s how to process the temptations when they happen:

#1 Is what happened true? Yes

#2 What will happen if I shared this? It would be gossip, slander, division and disrespect. These are fruits of the flesh.

#3 What will happen if I don’t share it? It’s still true but it’s NOT about ME.

#4 Where is Christ in this? The story is true and not sharing it helps me imitate Christ.

When we take someone else’s’ mistakes and measure against our own perfections, we are the one Heaven sees as having a stronghold in need of correcting.

Pride leaches to our hearts like a blood-sucking parasite. Once rooted, we adopt a posture of ENTITLED. We e decide we’re entitled to eat anything we want, buy anything we want, do anything we want. It feeds the stronghold.

How are you breaking free from pride? What testing opportunities have you recently passed through? I’d love to hear from you today as we encourage one another to live a life of visible faith.

 

February 2019: Prayer

Author Paul Miller shares in A Praying Life that he was driven to prayer through unexpected suffering.This is a reminder of how God works evil into good and drives communities to pray. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 we saw many people praying together in schools, workplaces, sporting events and government.

The public display of prayer was MAGNIFIED by a national crisis and unexpected suffering.

Sadly, years later we are again seeing pressure for Christians not to pray in public. While its permitted for some religions to pray at their place of work, when Christians pray it’s considered offensive and grabs the attention of mainstream news.

What are some types of prayer?

  • Devotional
  • Self prayer
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Corporate prayer
  • Dueling prayers vs God’s will

What are the challenges to praying?

  • Challenge: methods of prayer 
  • Challenge: focus and distraction 
  • Challenge: organization of prayer.

Conversation Questions

  • Where do we go first when we need advice? Why is God second?
  • What is the difference between praying and whining?
  • What is the difference between praying and gossip?
  • What prayers should be public (Facebook) and private?

 

NEXT MONTH DISCUSSION BOOK: Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller

If you’d like to participate in a monthly mentoring group please send me an email.

 

Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash