I sat down to write this post no fewer than four times, and each time I came up short. The myriad of lies we believe as moms, as women, as sisters, as children, as friends, all ran through my mind. Some of them were so beautifully articulated already in this collaborative series by my friends Mikenna, Amanda, Lily, and Katie.
I submitted a post on Thursday before Friday’s deadline, but I didn’t like it, and I’m thankful for the gentleness of my friends in their critique. It’s never easy, no matter how constructive it may be, to put yourself into a vulnerable place and ask for feedback. But I can’t lie that it wounded my already stung pride to not feel good about my work or ready to publish it, and to have them kindly agree.
I thought this would come easily, and I don’t like feeling unprepared, immature, or less than whatever unachievable goal of perfection I’ve established as my standard.
For 4 straight days, I perseverated over my failure. I cried out to God for inspiration, and I felt more and more embarrassed that I couldn’t come up with something encouraging, something honest, something that didn’t sound hypocritical, or heretical, or pharisaical, or accusatory…
The lie I realized I’ve been wrestling with is the lie of my own abilities and self-worth: both that I am not enough, and that I have the ability to do it all myself. This lie, at its core, is pride. I am choosing to exchange the lie of pride (that I know better than God’s will, timing, character, plans, purpose) for His truth: Love.
“…we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Pride has wounded friendships: I am either the best friend or the worst friend. Pride has wounded my children: my way is the best, do it my way or else. Pride has wounded my marriage: you’ll never meet my standards, and you’ll always let me down. Pride has wounded my parents: I’m a better parent than you were.
“Pride goes before destruction,Proverbs 16:18
and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The opposite of pride is humility…but for me, the thing that’s really countered the lie that I can overcome pride on my own is God’s love. All my life, I have battled pride and perfectionism, striving for an unattainable standard. Just this week alone I had so many emotional reminders that Jesus really is all we need. I found myself humbled by the Holy Spirit to reconcile and make amends with two friends I’d hurt in the past year (and before this week, I would have told you honestly that I hadn’t done anything wrong, it was all them!)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”Philippians 2:3
I don’t want to fall back into pride by saying “look at this great thing I did,” what I want to do is point out the specific heart change. It was God’s antidote to the lie in my life: love. 1 Corinthians 13, which I’ve always known as the “love chapter,” talks about how love is not proud, boastful, arrogant, rude, self-seeking. It talks about how love is the greatest thing. The first part talks about how we can do any number of good things, but if we do them without love, we have nothing. I was reminded how when I try to do things on my own, even good things, without love, they eventually fail.
“We love because he first loved us.”1 John 4:19
God loved me first, even before I knew Him, even when I was/am/will be a sinner, He changes my heart, He is gracious to forgive me, He enables me to forgive others, and He gives me the gift of His grace. When I can’t do it on my own, He can…this constant reminder that He is enough, He is the perfect One, He is able, removes the burden of perfectionism, takes the weight of the fear off of me, and breathes life into my breaking heart and my weary soul: freedom.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”John 1:16
This week in church my pastor said “to be in Christ means we have been changed. The cross crushes our pride. God is still changing lives: I’m not who He wants me to be yet, because I’m not like Jesus, but I’m not who I was, either.”
Thank you for letting me be honest with you in this pride journey. If you know me well in real life, you know this has been a battle of mine, and I’m grateful you’re still in my life in spite of it! I hope you are as encouraged as I am that God loves us, sent His son for us, and has done the work for us with His love.
Be sure to follow all 4 blogs on Instagram, like the giveaway posts, and leave a comment to be entered to win! The giveaway contains one thing from each of us contributing to this series, and one winner will get it all. It ends on 2/16, and the winner will be announced on 2/17: one week from today.
Before you go, I’d love to know in the comments: what’s a lie you’ve believed? How has God shown you His faithfulness with His truth? How can we encourage one another?