“Putting yourself down is a twisted form of pride”
These words stick with me as I close out my bible study this morning. I am doing a study of Breaking Free by Beth Moore and day one hits me square between the eyes with these powerful, call-me-out, change-my-thinking, words.
I love to learn and grow. I love to acquire new skills in communication, in thinking, perspectives and aligning them all with God’s calling for my life. I set out to improve myself so that I can love more people to Christ including and especially my family. That’s honorable, right?
Thankfully I know I need God in my life to be renewed and walk in the way He calls. So, with each new skill or knowledge set I acquire, I ‘close the book’ and think – “ok, _____ is what I will set out to do today.” (insert skipping and whistling with confidence that it’s going to be a unicorn and rainbow day)
You know what ends up happening every time though – Life – life happens! Something, at some point, ends up frustrating me, annoying me or I end up too tired to care if kindness is what’s coming out of my mouth. The bright daily goal is now a distant memory and seemingly unattainable.
It’s in these moments of realizing I failed to complete my goal that negative self-talk and negative emotions flood into my mind – telling me that I am a failure and that my family thinks I am too and of course God does. (Ummm Lie alert) This downward spiral – regardless of my knowledge in the lies and wrong – keeps me in a pit of “I’m never enough, no matter how hard I work or how much new knowledge I acquire – I’ll never arrive. Well, duh! Twisted pride has me, on some level, believing that I can arrive at perfection.
I think that the increase in knowledge should automatically make me not do things wrong – ever! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – not ‘Tiffany who strengthens me.”
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13
My pride is twisted when it comes to what I believe my abilities should be. I don’t think ‘oops I messed up,’ turn to God for my strength and forgiveness and learn from my mistakes. I turn on myself – turn inwardly and think that I am not a good Christian, a good mom or a good wife and often wonder if I’m even good at anything. This is very hurtful to my spirit and creates a block between God and me. If I think horribly of myself – how can the gifts He’s given me be in use. My pride, twisted or otherwise, upsets God, but it destroys me.
Pride slights God, but it destoys us – Beth Moore
The words “Twisted Pride’ opened up the floodgates to the realization of the way my thoughts and actions have to change. A change I can not do on my own.
- Who does God say I am – beloved, child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made…
- When we doubt our worth or talk so poorly to ourselves we undermine God’s creation – Wee tell God he did a horrible job making us.
- If I could acquire knowledge and directly apply it to my life, flawlessly, then why did Jesus have to die for me? Oh yeah, Because I’m a sinner and will always fall short of the glory of God.
- We can’t increase knowledge and put it into place without the wisdom of Christ and the Holy Spirit active in our life.
- Each new acquisition of knowledge is a gift that I need to give back to Christ to help me use- to meditate on it and put it to work.
- Knowledge is nothing without His wisdom and power to renew us from the inside.
- I can’t read something and close the book and the door that allows God the ability to teach me and guide me in that new found knowledge all day long.
- Meditate on His words nonstop all day so that He can renew us and reveal His purpose to us.
- I need to stop being so hard on myself, stop acting like I’m god and can do all things without my Savior. I can’t!
- We need to receive His grace and be so overwhelmed with thankfulness for it that we can not sit in our failures. We should be busy sitting in His loving acceptance of who we are.
I can not EVER live a godly life with out God in my every second.
The image I have for twisted pride is one of those peel apart licorice treats that are all twisted up. I pray that God starts to peel away the strands of my twisted pride, not only untwisting it but completely removing any form of pride from my life so that I can humbly give over every gift of knowledge to Him, for His perfect use.