Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Escape from Pride

OK.  So about this pride stuff.  First of all, let me clarify (thank you, Monica) that when I talk about needing to be humbled, I am NOT talking about humiliation.  I might talk more about that this week yet, but for now I'll just say I see those two things as very different.  The first good, the second not.  I'm also still thinking about the idea that fear of being humbled might be an indication of pride...  it might actually just be an indication of being alive because being humbled is painful and normal people don't like pain.  : )


Here's what I noticed last week.  I was feeling exhausted.  I was feeling  frustrated that I couldn't get everything done and afraid of what would happen if people knew.  (Knew "what" exactly, I'm not sure...  that I'm human?)  It was another perfectionism/insecurity/anxiety attack because I feel like so many things are out of my control right now and I. DO. NOT. LIKE. IT.  I want our schedule to be under control, our house to be clean, our things to be uncluttered and organized, our files to be tidy and our children to be good missionary kids.  I want to feel like I'm in control because feeling out of control is scary.  AND I DON'T WANT TO FAIL.

All that by itself isn't necessarily wrong, I don't think.  But here's what is:  when God kept digging, under all of my efforts to want to be in control is wanting to look good.  Wanting to meet expectations.  Wanting to please people.   Wanting to be good enough and wanting to get more affirmation because I am insecure in this new role in ministry AND because my pride doesn't want to get hurt.  I like what Monica said: "Pride is insecurity all dressed up."  : )  Pride and insecurity together make a relentless, ridiculous taskmaster that is exhausting to follow.

I do want to say I don't always feel this way.  These last couple of weeks, however, made for the right combination of pressures to help me fall into the trap.  As God was uncovering how pride and insecurity were at the root of much of my discouragement and weariness last week, I realized I felt much like the "wizard" trying to control all of the levers and pleading for Dorothy and crew to "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!"
Oh, Lord.  Thank You for your mercy.  Because that's where Matthew 11:28-30 came alive.  I had already chosen it as my passage to memorize in Spanish the week before - because of the "Come unto me...  and I will give you rest" part.  But it was the next part that caught me all of a sudden.

Verse 39 says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and HUMBLE in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

I had never seen it before.  There is a direct connection between humility and rest.  When I am determined to get it all and keep it all together so that I can always look good, I'll never rest.  When I let my pride or insecurity call the shots, I won't rest.  But when I embrace humility and the truth that my confidence is in God and NOT IN MYSELF...  in God's grace and not my strength or smarts, I can leave it in His hands AND REST.  I can follow His lead AND REST.  I can thank Him for His faithfulness every day of my life and I will find rest for my soul.  For His yoke really does fit easier and really is lighter.

Thank You Lord!

Day 37

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mel, I can so relate to that desire to be in control. I hate not knowing and waiting on God, for that very reason. And sometimes I see the same drive to be in control in my daughter and I wonder, "How will I ever teach her to trust Him, when I still struggle with it?"
    Wishing I could go read all of your posts right now, but alas, a ten-page paper calls my name.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart with me.