Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. -James 1:16-18 (NIV)
I was -and am- full of pride..much more than I realized, which makes it even more dangerous. 🙂 You see, I was this good little Christian girl. I hadn’t ever done anything seriously wrong. Maybe you can see where this is going, even if I didn’t at the time?
I was proud of things that were good things! I was proud of my emotional strength, I was proud when people would compliment my maturity or physical beauty, I was proud of my purity, my writing, my ministries, my physical ability, my ability to be competent and reliable. The list goes on. And yet I was blind to all of it! I thought I was humble! Of all of my many faults as a human being, pride wouldn’t have been one of the particular ones I thought I struggled with.
But then God took away most of those things- or at least my ability to do any of them on my own. 🙂 No longer am I able to be reliable no matter what. No longer do I have any of my own strength -physical, emotional, or otherwise. No longer am I able to write as concisely or eloquently as before. God humbled me.
All of those things before were good! They were good things to have, wouldn’t you agree? I was a good friend, a good family member, a good writer, and I was using those things to help people, right? So what was so wrong with that? Nothing! Nothing is wrong with that! Those are all wonderful things to strive for! But they were gifts from God. It took God taking those things from me for me to learn how to really appreciate and use them. Now I can clearly see that it wasn’t in my strength that I had those things all along. Now that I am ‘forced’ to rely on God for every tiny thing, I realize that none of it had ever been done in my power in the first place! Every good and perfect gift is from above, because God has chosen to bless us with them
Let me urge you to do two things, then. First, don’t take things for granted- you never know when you may lose them. Second, learn from my shortcomings and evaluate your own heart for any pride that is there- even if it is in a good thing. Choose to humble yourself to God’s plan. Don’t forget where everything you have and are comes from.
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” -James 4:6-7 (NIV)
Your humbled sister in Christ,