I am the sensitive type.
I cry, like, all the time. Last night I watched the first installment of The Bible series on the History Channel with my husband and bawled. More than once. I think I got teary at every big scene.
I’ve always been hyper-emotional. Whether it’s an offense that I take über personally, an argument over a weird facial expression or a freak out over a stubbed toe, emotional exaggeration can sometimes be my M.O. Last week we talked about pride and the Flipside. This week, I want to show you pride’s other side.
As God continues (and will always continue) working with me in the area of pride, I stumbled across this little article that totally flipped my brain. Being the “sensitive type” is not a personality. It’s a tendency toward a certain type of sin. The sin of……you guessed it……pride.
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
Well, fabulous. Now, not only do I have to cover an offense and then call an arborist for the logs in my eyes, but I get to just throw out ALL the junk that ANYONE says about me or to me. WHAT in the world will I call my mom about now? And notice how it doesn’t say the things that “some people” say. Nope. That people say. All of them. And not only that, but don’t even hear it. Don’t even let it seep in. I love how Jennifer Rothschild describes it– your mind is a thought-closet; you decide what gets hung up in it and what doesn’t.
“Pride and being self-focused are two sides of the same coin” (Rebecca Jones). Not only is pride that boastful “Ooooooh look at meeee!” voice, but it can also sound like this:
- “I can’t believe she….”
- “He said I was….”
- “She hurt my feelings…”
- “Why doesn’t she like me anymore…”
- “He doesn’t love me….”
- “He never….”
- “She always….”
They all come back to being self-focused. The picture that scripture gives us of humility is one who covers over an offense (Prov 17:9), focuses on her tree trunks (Matt 7:3-5), and does not take to heart anything said to her or about her. In fact, she flat out refuses to hear any of it and recognizes it for what it is: a scheme of the enemy to drive wedges in relationships and turn our thoughts toward ourSELVES rather than to our CREATOR. ‘Cuz we loooooove ourselves. We can think about us aaaaall day long. What an easy trap to get us turned away from God…just turn us to ourselves.
Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
How many things can we do for selfish ambition? NONE.
Who is significant? Not you. Everyone else.
Now we are women who cover offenses without repeating them to others, we are focusing on our own shortcomings rather than those of others, we never take to heart anything said to us or about us that could be hurtful, we do absolutely nothing out of selfish ambition (so opposite of what we are taught–“YOU can do ANYTHING YOU WANT to do!”), we are never conceited, and we look at everyone, that means everyone, as better than ourselves.
I’ll have to stop there before I pop a vein or something. Praise God we don’t have to do this ourselves. What a laughable thought. Instead, we just get to rest in Christ. Press in and ask the Holy Spirit to do the changing work to be this others-focused woman rather than the me-focused, whiny little girl. This is one of the things I love most about being in Christ. The work I need to do is just to believe in Him. To ask. Then, I get to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, just for thinking on Him. Meditating on His word. Increasing my joy in Him. Why am I not doing this more? Seriously?
Let’s take that coin of pride and follow the widow with her copper coins to the offering box, laying it at the feet of the One who can put you in your place. Seek humility today, and ask God to remind you to count others as more significant than yourself when feelings of pride rise up. He’s faithful to help us! All glory to Him!