Tag Archives: pride

Re-Evaluate Your Heart

Re-Evaluate Your Heart: My Journey through Psalms 101

My absolute biggest pet peeve ever is feeling like I have been lied to.

It pushes my buttons so deep, I need spelunking equipment to retrieve them after my emotions blow a canyon into everything around me.

It’s a character flaw. I know. It means I have less grace than I should because let’s be honest, we all lie. Sometimes.

That moment when you only tell part of the story. You have your reasons but little did you know, the other person already knows the rest of the story. Feels like a lie.

The time you asked a question, but they think you don’t really want the truth because they think you know the truth already.  The other person misrepresents the truth or even fibs. Feels like a lie.

I could go on like this forever. I hate it. And I pride myself on the tenants in Psalm 101. As the message says:

My theme song is God’s love and justice, and I’m singing it right to you, God .

But here’s the problem with pride. Sometimes, the theme song is less about God and more about what you are trying to prove to the world.

I’m finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.

There are a lot of ‘I’s in that verse. I can relate, but sometimes we let the ‘I’s have the reign and we stop letting  God determine what is right. And true. And just.

And by we, I mean I.

Because I have moments when I am too righteous to see people’s hearts. As the psalmist says

 I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things.

Which is good, but not when it is guided by own pride and selfish pride. That’s when letting justice be your theme song can take a really nasty left turn and it becomes less about justice and more about proving yourself right. All. The. Time.

There is a lot to be said for letting “No one who practices deceit…dwell in my house”, but there is also a lot to be said for “walking in my house with blameless heart”. You see, they go hand in hand.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t have a blameless heart if I am constantly looking for the blame or deceit in others. Not only is it exhausting, it’s not justice.

So my theme song will stay love and justice, but each day I must re-evaluate my motives. Am I singing love and justice for Jesus or for myself?

The answer to that question, my friends, will make all the difference in how I live my life and how others see Jesus.

More than This Provincial Life

I’ve often found myself making a very similar claim to that of the Disney bookworm–the provincial daughter of a Parisian suburb. Perhaps it stems from growing up in a town you could fold into a paper airplane and send halfway across the country. Perhaps it is my naturally inquisitive nature. Perhaps its the introspection or purposelessness that accompanies life in a small town. Or perhaps it is because deep down we all  long for more than a simple, provincial life.

We want lives that mean something.

We need lives of legacy.

Unfortunately in the mundane of everyday life this innate longing often gets pushed aside…

stamped down…

doused.

So we settle for the provincial, assuming that our life at it’s best is the greatest it will ever be. Ignoring the fact that our full potential is just around the corner.

And we never leave the legacy God created for us.

So how do we pick ourselves out of the feeling of insignificance? This small town proclivities and achieve greatness?

Great question.

Honestly, I stink at it, because it STARTS with WHO is in control. If I don’t want to stay in my ‘provincial life’ it all comes down to three things. I must…

  1. Step down
  2. Step back
  3. Step up

Yeah, I know. That’s so easy, right? Wrong. It’s easy in theory, harder in practice!

  1. Step down: In order for God to steer me out of my comfort zone, I have to actually hand over control to God. For a control freak like myself, this is not easy. It’s a DAILY struggle. Just when I think I’m good and God has the reigns, I see a bump, scream and grab for them again. In case you were wondering–wrestling with God over steering mechanisms is exhausting. And fruitless. Unless the right person is in control, you’ll never get ANYWHERE. At least you won’t get far, and definitely not out of the province that is so unfulfilling. Since I stole the title of this from my favorite Disney film, I’ll use an example from the film. Belle wanted more, but until she actually let go of her old life, she wasn’t able to embrace her new one. You have to step down for God to step up.
  2. Step back: If you thought getting out of the control seat was hard, wait till you recognize you must also step back. When you look at a Monet painting up close all you see is a blur of color. Meaningless. Ridiculous even. Then you step back. Suddenly those colors become beautiful flowers. Meaningful. To understand our purpose and legacy we have to step back and look at our lives and those who surround us from a different perspective. When we shift the way we look at things and we step back, God is able to open your eyes and mind to the beauty of the mundane. And even help you create meaning from something you believed purposeless or even dead. He’s a master artist–sometimes we just need to step back and the picture becomes clear.
  3. Step up: This sounds counter-intuitive. We just stepped down, why would we step up again? Here’s the thing. ‘Up’ doesn’t mean that we take control back. We’re not getting back on the pedestal. Instead, we are stepping up and recognizing the responsibility we have to follow God into our own legacy. We give Him control, we change our perspective and then we act. Action always needs to come LAST though, because if we act on our own accord we become like Sarah, taking the reigns into our hands and created bigger problems than we solved. Abraham was promised a son, so Sarah–feeling old and purposeless–gave her husband a new wife and birthed a whole nation set up in opposition to the nation God promised her. Sibling rivalry at its finest. Sarah’s heart was in the right place, but she did it backward. She tried to step up first, and that never works.

Step down, step back, and step up.

God never said life would be easy, but he did promise us lives that would be meaningful. There is more than this provincial life. But you have to step down, step back, and step up if you want to reach your full potential.

Hubris: My Journey through Psalms (10)

Psalm 10

Hubris, the greatest flaw of every hero be it tragic, epic, or romantic, throughout literature and history excessive pride always goes before the fall of almost every man or nation.

Which begs the question: why do we still allow ourselves to be puffed up with egos the size of the Chrysler building?
Because it feels good. It feels right. It is our natural inclination.

But it is also our natural inclination to sin, so just because it feels good and feels right, doesn’t mean it is what is good and right for our benefit or for God’s glory.

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him [the Lord]; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, ” Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “Now one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats. trouble and evil are under his tongue. […] He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.” Psalm 10: 4-7;  11
They say pride goes before a fall. True. But pride also separates us from the Lord, because when we puff ourselves up, we push out all the other things in our lives that used to have priority. The Lord is the first to go, because he is supposed to have first priority, now we do. Then our family, friends, and the things we used to love to make time for. Slowly our identity shifts and we barely recognize ourselves–though we still physically may be the same person we’ve been consumed by greed and pride and become a vile creature, unacceptable to God and to the people who once were so important in our lives.

Excessive pride isolates, changes and extorts from us the value and peace of our purposeful lives. And it doesn’t look pretty in the end.



Macbeth had his head cut off.
Oedipus scratched his own eyes out.
Arthur’s brains oozed from his head.
Beowulf was killed by a dragon.
Nebuchadnezzar wandered for over 5 years (7? 8?), insane in the desert.


All because of pride.

If nothing else, Psalm 10 teaches us to take a look at our own lives and see where the excessive pride is and eliminate it. Have we been struggling with a problem that we need help with but are too stubborn to ask for guidance on? Do we need to confess something to a life group, partner, or friend? Have we built up a personal empire and rely on that wealth to protect us rather than God? Do we put more faith in something other than God to sustain us? Where is the pride in our lives?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


Questions to ponder:
It’s not a matter of if I have excessive pride but where is the excessive pride in my life?
Who can be an accountability partner to help eliminate and guard against the pride taking over my life?
Why is it important to continually guard against pride (especially in the first world)?