“Let us remember that it is not God who makes many of the crosses that we find in our way, such as we commonly call ‘crosses’. Out Heavenly Father makes ‘straight paths for our feet’, and if we would go in His way, if we would straighten our our wills to His will, and lay them side by side, there would be no crosses. But when the path that God points out goes north and south, and our stubborn will leads us east and west, the consequence is ‘a cross’- a cross of our own making, not that cross which our Master bids us take up and carry after Him, and of which it has been well said, ‘He always carries the heaviest end Himself.'” ~Annie Webb-Peploe❤
There is a certain pride that you need to get on stage. I have led worship, been in secular and worship bands and orchestras, done public speakinh, sung before thousands, and been in a lot of musicals. You have to have some pride to do this. You have to believe in your ability enough to believe you can and should perform or preferably lead other people watching you. You have to have some pride in your appearance or not care. You have to have some level of belief in yourself that what you are doing is worthwhile and beneficial enough to convey a point, a message, be believable, be natural in the presentation. I walk on stage more confidently than I walk into a room of just a few people, I do not get nervous, I do not wonder if I look ok, I do not hesitate, my mouth does not get dry or wet or anything different. I am not nervous. I focus on what I am doing. Or I wing it. There has to be a measure of pride involved. This pride is not bad, it is focused and purposeful. This pride is necessary for that purpose. When you are getting up there for your own glory or attention or praise or elevation or to prove you are ready worthwhile or better than anyone is where pride turns from are reset into liability, obedience into sin, good into bad. See, the focus is areressetlways to benefit, to do good, to elevate God and help people do that to. When we stay in the good pride, also called self-confidence or as I like to think of it confidence that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, God blesses our efforts. You see, that kind of pride is actually humility. I am not perfect, but I will go up there, Lord, because you want me to and I trust you will help it go well. Humble does better on stage than self-elevation or perfectionism self-elevaters call it. Once you say the object is perfection, I know your heart has gone the way of sinful pride and you will screw up. I tell you to prepare but trust God every time for the outcome. He may need imperfect for someone for reasons you don’t know. Who cares. You obeyed and praise God He does what is best!!! ❤
Pride is the primary reason for all the evils of this world, of which we all see regularly now. Pride says “Me!” Pride puts self or something pleasurable on a pedestal and strokes the ego to justify the lifting of that to God status, called the old fashioned word “idolatry” in the Bible. Pride says “I am more important”, “I deserve this”, “I want it”, or “I certainly deserve it more than they do” and on and on the lies go. Salesmen tickle our ears with it, media caters to it, social media pushes and reinforces it soundly, we are solo artists in a bowl of soup with other solo artists but there is no orchestra anymore. Pride lies and destroys. Nothing is more destructive than pride. Nothing. Not one thing. And nothing will keep people from humbly admitting and confessing sins in prayer to God for salvation more than pride. So pride then will keep more people from heaven and drive them to hell. So pride is the enemy within. It must be minimized. It must be thwarted. I must drive pride out of my heart and put humility and the Holy Spirit on the pedestal He deserved. We must make our hearts a pure and classy, clean, inviting throne for God to dwell. We must love and serve, smile, make eye contact with, encourage people for God loves that not so pride gets puffed up. God is everything. Pride must then become nothing.
The original sin of the original sinner, Satan, was pride. So every sin since has been rooted in pride. It is the most natural root of all sin because we are built in with this sense of goodness in self and a desire to care for and protect ourself. It is easily blown out of proportion and switched to a desire to get more than our fair share perhaps and that can manifest itself lots of ways. Recently I saw a new set of ugly in an attitude of pride which manifested itself within the church as a supposed self righteous indignation. I saw accusations hurled in an attempt to get back at for some perceived wrong, to look right to the world to cover their own sins, a flaw which was taken to the church authorities in an attempt to divide a church just to get back at someone for something they actually did. And at first seeing this I was angry because it throws spit up at my Lord by saying He authorized dividing His church, which He never would and by judging another as guilty and self as perfect when My Lord said we are all having sin and do not judge. Those which use His name and attach it to their own will and pride to justify their own sinful desires and faults are to me the ugliest sort of criminals. But upon further thinking, I began to realize that people who do this are pathetic, lost souls that need the One they are claiming to know better than the truth of the Bible. You cannot distort the truth of the Bible and create your own truth with some verses thrown in for out of context support and expect to live a fulfilled life. Truth of the Bible needs to be read and heard in its entirety. The better you know the Book, the better you know the Hero of it. Picking and choosing what you like to suit your own selfish prideful desires and whims and thoughts follows a dangerous line of reasoning which is based on lies. And that is very sad because you miss the point then entirely. The point, ladies and gentlemen, is that truth is truth. It is not based on your interpretation of the truth or your idea of what the truth might mean in this situation. It stands for itself. Truth need never be defended. Truth does not require your biased interpretation. Not one bit. And truth always wins. It is a quiet defender of itself and is never shaken, never wrong, never weak, never meandering, never wavering. Truth stands alone. And it stands for whoever seeks it devotedly with a humble heart. So those weak ones attacked by lies or biases or prideful ones actually are a million times stronger with a much better fate than their attacker because the humble are lifted high. What lifts them? Truth. When truth is on your side, you do not need anything else. Truth protects and uplifts and where you humbly allow it to work, truth will be your greatest hero and ally. How is that possible? Because God is truth. There is no truth apart from God. So when truth is on your side, so is the greatest Superpower in the history of anything at all. And I would much rather fall on my face in humility and allow God and His truth to work than to stand pridefully up against Him to feel better about yourself for a minute or justify incorrectly your own perfection, as if. The choice is between bowing low to God of your own volition or being forced to later, I choose to bow.
I have never felt like I was the most important person in the room, provided there was at least one other person in the room. My upbringing at home and in the church and Christian school had everything to do with this. I was taught humility, which has become some strange invasive, old-fashioned, rude, archaic, self-loathing word now. When I was growing up it meant simply that you were humble. You thought more highly of others than yourself, even though you still loved and took care of yourself. Pride and subsequent narcissism is at some kind of all time high. People seem to rather bask in center-of-the-worlditis. They love thinking of themselves, adoring themselves, taking pictures of themselves constantly to prove to the world how gorgeous they are at every moment, demanding me time, do for me, I deserve this, all about me. Quite frankly, it is enough to make me want to throw up. I am so tired of this pervasive disease of me-ness. I exist so take care of me. I am pretty so pamper me. I am incredibly amazing so worship me even more than I do. Wow! Am I the only one who is tired of it? I see it everywhere, workplaces, churches, public places, with spouses in homes. And why does it bother me? Why care how much self worship and self love someone conveys? Here it is. I love people and I love the God who made us all. More and more, I love people who are introverted. As a natural extrovert, I honestly used to wonder why all people were not outgoing and foolishly thought that slowness to make a decision or answer was a form of weakness. Yes, really really stupid, I admit I was. As I have matured and shut my own mouth long enough to attend to people more and really see them, I observed that these patient introverted souls were some of the most strong and incredibly amazing people on the planet and most of them had this quality of being humble (at least outwardly). And I saw how the proud who “deserved” their own way pushed these gentle angels around, making them feel low and misunderstood and frustrated. And that infuriates me. It shows the foolishness and utter stupidity and ignorant crassness of the narcissist and their utter disregard for their Maker. Very little lights my fire faster than seeing a worthy soul pushed low by an ignorant jerk. I have no problem having some serious words with people for this high crime that often or most of the time to unpunished. I have seen spouses do this, seeming to marry someone to take care of them, my way or the highway, not caring about their spouses’ needs and desires. Love is a two way street, mutual respect, that sort of thing. I have seen this pride carried away in work places, where people care more about their own personal lives than the work they were hired to perform and little gets done. Frustrating for the employer, from experience. I have seen it in churches, where people want their way over God’s way and make decisions they prefer rather than what is right. It is rampant all over. Here is what we can do about it. 1. We can be good examples and stay humble ourselves. 2. We can call narcissists out on their behavior when we see them hurting someone. 3. We can pray because only God can initiate change in a person’s heart. 4. We can trip them as they catwalk by. No, that wouldn’t be right, scratch that. 4. We can try to love on them by not encouraging them to walk all over us. Sometimes a simple no is all that is needed. Meaning, we don’t encourage their detrimental prideful behavior. And 5. We can use their bad behavior as an example of what not to do, as in keep us from pitfalls of pride, because we are all susceptible to it at one or more points in our lives. We can stay humble and let God work but we don’t need to keep being beat down. It is hard on the soul and spirit. God can work. So can we. These are my thoughts on the matter. A d yes, I was kinder and more tame than I might have been on the topic because of the influence of my beautifully gentle introverted friends and family. Thank God for you!!