I deal with pride. Every day I have to make a big effort to put pride aside. Some days I succeed, but too many days I fail. I made a realization today that made my heart drop a bit. Do you remember the villain in the story of Esther? His name was Haman and he hated anyone who threatened his success or challenged his reputation of earthly excellence and nobility. Most of all, he hated Esther’s uncle, Mordecai. Yeah, well, I just realized I’m a lot like him. Eeks!
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage.
How many times in my life have I been upset or angry because I thought someone owed me respect that they did not give? How many times have I looked for honor instead of looking to honor my heavenly father? How many times did I wrap up my pride and tie it with a ribbon called respect in order to justify it? How many times have I taken off the royal robes given to me freely as a daughter of the King to don the robe of judgmental Pharisee? Too many times.
It doesn’t take much study of the bible to know that pride is an evil seed that bears some nasty, putrid fruit. In Haman’s life, pride was the seed that birthed his desire to murder not only Mordecai but the entire race of people Mordecai and Esther belonged to. Thankfully the story had a happy ending. Well, not for Haman. Esther, Mordecai and the Jewish people prevailed, but Haman was impaled on the pole (or some versions say hung by the very gallows) meant for Mordecai.
When you realize that you sometimes look like one of the biggest villains of the Bible, it stings like a million fire ants attacking your flesh. Still, experience tells me that there’s healing on the other side of a holy stinging, so I push forward to the place of gratitude. I’m thankful for God’s truth today. I’m thankful he lit up this dark place within me so that I can follow the light out. In a world that centers on the uplifting of self, I’m going to guess I’m not the only one who struggles with pride. Can we pray together today?
God, thank you for searching my heart and lighting up the dark area of pride in my life. Thank you that your light guides us to repentance and obedience and in that there is always freedom. Please help me to choose correctly as I approach the moments when I have the choice to pick pride or a fruit of your spirit. Help me to identify it in the moment instead of falling back on bad habits. Help me to choose godliness and holiness instead of pride. God, give me understanding about what it really means to be adopted as your child in these moments and a bigger understanding of how freely given your grace is to EVERYONE. Allow my knowledge and understanding of who I am eternally in You to be my security instead of the temporary security of self-promotion and self-righteous opinions. Thank you that the cross and the resurrection always provide me a way out of my sin. Amen.
~ Trisha Bowman
Christ Fellowship member