Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Pretty Arrogant

If I had to list my "Top Ten" sins that seem to haunt me on a daily basis, it would take a split second to know what sits atop that list. It's doubt about it. I find myself continuously thinking I am bigger and better than I am. I take pride in my independence as a person. However, I know full well that I am the best I can ever be when I am spralled out before God claiming my nothingness. Arrogance finds it way into my heart, and I can even rationalize why I don't need God to help me beat different sins in my life. Pride comes in the form of compliments for me, because there are instances I can remember when I served God for my glory and not his. I typically have more advice for others than I'm willing to hear, and I generally want others see me as a guy who has it all together instead of the rehabilitated Disciple I'm called to be.

John Wesley writes, "The first advice I would give to those who have been saved from sin by grace is to watch and pray continually against pride. For it is pride not only to ascribe what we have to ourselves, but also to think we have what we do not. One man, for instance, ascribed to his knowledge of God and was therefore humble. But then he thought he had more than everyone else which is a dangerous pride. We often think that we have no need of anyone else's advice or reproof. Always remember, much grace does not imply much enlightenment. We may be wise but have little love, or we may have love with little wisdom. God has wisely joined us all together as the parts of a body so that we cannot say to one another, 'I have no need of you.' Even to imagine that those who are not saved cannot teach you is a very great and serious mistake. Dominion is not found in grace. Not observing this has led some into many mistakes and certainly into pride. Beware even the appearance of pride! Let there be in you that lowly mind which was in Christ Jesus. Be clothed with humility. Let modesty appear in all your words and actions. One way we do this is to own any fault we have. If you have at any time thought, spoken, or acted wrong, do not refrain from acknowledging it. Never dream that this will hurt the cause of God - in fact, it will further it. Be open and honest when you are rebuked and do not seek to evade or disguise it. Rather, let it appear just as it is and you will thereby not hinder but adorn the gospel."

I'm trying to learn the deeper meaning of my place in this life and before God. My head desires to claim helplessness, but my heart struggles to fight humility. The greatest feats I have accomplished in my life have nothing to do with public applause or modifying my own behavior. The greatest feats I have accomplished are when I have surrendered my whole self to Jesus and become the vessel of hope, love, and humility that manifest the Messiah who saved me. And so today I pray for tears of humility and brokenness to remind me of my helplessness because I want my heart to match my head. I must have the movement of God's Holy Spirit, or I am dead.


  1. I hear ya brother. I have only begun to struggle against my pride in the last few years. Prior to that it was actually my pride that fueled much of what I considered "my work for the Lord". That frame of mind really sums up my life long problem of being focused on me and my instead of on God.
    Adding to the concept of owning our faults, It recently occured to me that probably the reason we are instructed to confess our sins to one another is for the sake of humility. After all we can't forgive each others sins and the blood of Christ has already covered them. Shouldn't we all be on our knees at the front of the Church everytime the invitation is given? Not for the forgiveness of our sins but rather in order to humble ourselves before God and the body.

  2. I am on the complete other end of this spectrum. I have never struggled with pride, but instead have found my struggle to be a perversion of pride, self doubt and fear, not that I have no self confidence at all but I hesitate because of fear and doubt in myself. A wise person once told me thought that it comes down to a lack of faith in Christ and his ability to work through me. From that persepctive I have been able to surrender more and cast aside doubt and fear.