Pride

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I oftentimes view pride as that stuck-up, nose in the air attitude that makes someone think they’re superior to everyone else.  However, pride is usually more subtle than that.  The following questions by Nancy Leigh Demoss really helped me think about the pride that is evident in my life.  More than half of the questions seemed to perfectly describe something that I feel or do.  I’d never pinpointed those things before as pride.

  1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?
  2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate, others in your in your church?
  3. Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don’t make the same lifestyle choices you do . . . dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards, etc.?
  4. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those thoughts to others?
  5. Do you have a sharp, critical tongue?
  6. Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate, your pastor, or other people in positions of leadership (teachers, youth director, etc.)?
  7. Do you give undue time, attention, and effort to your physical appearance—hair, make-up, clothing, weight, body shape, avoiding appearance of aging?
  8. Are you proud of the schedule you keep, how disciplined you are, how much you are able to accomplish?
  9. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others?
  10. Are you argumentative?
  11. Do you generally think your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way?
  12. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit? Easily offended? Get your feelings hurt easily?
  13. Are you guilty of pretense? Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is really true? (Would the people at church be shocked if they knew what you were like at home?)
  14. Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong?
  15. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? (not just in generalities but specifics)
  16. Do you have a hard time sharing your real spiritual needs/struggles with others?
  17. Do you have a hard time praying aloud with others?
  18. Are you excessively shy?
  19. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people you don’t know at church?
  20. Do you resent being asked or expected to serve your family, your parents, or others?
  21. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected?
  22. Are you a perfectionist? Do you get irked or impatient with people who aren’t?
  23. Do you tend to be controlling—of your mate, your children, friends, those in your workplace?
  24. Do you frequently interrupt people when they are speaking?
  25. Does your husband feel intimidated by your “spirituality”?
  26. Does your husband feel like he can never measure up to your expectations of what it means to be a good husband, spiritual leader, etc.?
  27. Do you often complain—about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, your church?
  28. Do you talk about yourself too much?
  29. Are you more concerned about your problems, needs, burdens than about others’ concerns?
  30. Do you worry about what others think of you? Too concerned about your reputation or your family’s reputation?
  31. Do you neglect to express gratitude for “little things”? To God? To others?
  32. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word?
  33. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments/or acts of service are not recognized or rewarded?
  34. Do you get hurt if your feelings or opinions are not considered when your mate or your boss is making a decision or if you are not informed when a change or decision is made?
  35. Do you react to rules? Do you have a hard time being told what to do?
  36. Are you self-conscious because of your lack of education or natural beauty, or your socio-economic status?
  37. Do you avoid participating in certain events, for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish?
  38. Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them/don’t feel you measure up?
  39. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don’t think it’s nice enough or you can’t afford to do lavish entertaining?
  40. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help (practical or spiritual)?
  41. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, friend, or coworker: “I was wrong; would you please forgive me?” (If it’s been more than a month, mark it down!)
  42. Are you sitting here thinking how many of these questions apply to someone you know? Feeling pretty good that none of these things really apply to you?

Fulfillment in Christ

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Saint Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” I can’t believe how true this is. My thoughts often drift towards marriage but these daydreams never leave me feeling full. I don’t walk away from a romance novel or a chick flick feeling complete. Instead, I often feel discontent or jealous. But when I walk away from a time of prayer or an hour in God’s Word, I feel so satisfied, so peaceful, so close to Him.

Jonah 2:8 says, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” I feel like this verse speaks right to my heart. I hope for an enduring love and I’m seeking it in all the wrong places. I build an idol out of marriage. But the only one who can fulfill my desire for steadfast love is God. My husband will be a fallible human being. He will let me down. He will make me angry, frustrated, or sad. By pursuing what I think will satisfy my desire for love, I’m actually pushing aside the only One who can fill that void. A man will be sure to fail me but God will always love me perfectly.

Right now, my aim is to fall in love with Christ. I used to chase the idea of marriage but now I’ve decided to run hard after Christ. That doesn’t change the fact that I hope to one day get married.  It’s not that this is a bad desire.  But when it becomes more important to me than God, that’s when it becomes an idol.