It’s not easy to write about your struggles. It’s not easy to be open. It’s not easy to be vulnerable. And yet, I somehow I feel led to write this post.
I found myself in a strange place this past Sunday morning. I had just wrapped up speaking in our first service and was in the back greeting people on their way out of the auditorium. A few people passed by and had some very encouraging words to say about my message. They were seriously gracious. And then it happened. I caught myself enjoying the compliments.
Yes, I realize its okay to like it when others say good things about us. But for me, I have to be extra cautious about that ugly thing called PRIDE. Part of my personality is to thrive on compliments. That’s just how I am. I love it when people compliment my work. I sometimes find myself striving so hard to accomplish something simply to get those compliments. And, when it comes to preaching, sharing God’s Word – I want to be so careful to not let PRIDE take my focus off the main thing. That is…I want everything I do – especially preaching – to be all for His Glory and not my own.
So, during the worship set of the second service I snuck behind stage and into our prayer room. I had to admit to God that I was enjoying the compliments too much and that even though I wanted to do a great job and knock peoples socks off with this message – I wanted Jesus to get all the glory and the credit.
In the “Message,” Peterson paraphrases Proverbs 16:18 to say, “First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”
You see, when we are honest with ourselves and when we understand our weaknesses - we can avoid a lot of crashing and falling. I'm far from perfect and God has a ton of work to do on me. And that's okay. The important thing is to acknowledge it and allow Him to do only what He can do in us.
So, how about you? Do you ever catch yourself struggling with PRIDE?