I will continue today in what I have written about Andrew Murray’s Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness (Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 2001).
There is a great quote from Martin Luther that says, “God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” (43) Humility is what makes you someone God can use. The sticking point with humility is that it is a daily thing. Too much of my life have been filled with bursts of humility instead of a life lived in humility. I will be convicted of my pride and walk in humility. Then life will get busy, I will get busy serving, or pride creeps in and I begin forgetting to ask for humility daily. It often times takes me messing up pretty bad for me to realize that pride has taken a foothold back in my life again.
I wish it wasn’t always relationships where the sin of my pride attacks. I guess Satan knows the exact sin that will make me mess up those relationships I have built for years. Puffed up in my pride, I say or write something that stabs someone I care for in the heart. The first time it really happened, I was defensive, “how could she take it that way?”. Very quickly, I saw how she really could have taken it that way. I was heartbroken. Maybe that is even an understatement. My heart dropped and I felt physically ill because of what I did. How did I just ruin that? How can I ask for forgiveness? Will she ever forgive me?
Oh, how I wish that this would have only happened once, but as I sit here, I can think of at least three times when I have hurt relationships with people God has placed in my life. Those are the ones I can think of, how many more times did I hurt or offend someone without even remembering it? If anything, these scarred relationships should keep me grounded and emptied of pride. How short is my memory of the mess pride can make in my life? That is why I need to have short accounts with God and with other people. I know how many people will turn away from God if someone they look up to messes up.
In these moments when I blow it majorly, Satan no longer whispers: he yells, accusing me of being a failure. “How could God ever want to use you? You cannot even keep your mouth shut. You blew it. She will never forgive you” I am accused and found guilty. The pride that I kept feeding grew into this monster that threatened to eat me alive. It reared its head and was laughing at me. All of those good things I tried to do, well none of that mattered now. The years of mentoring, loving, and praying for that young woman were all down the drain in a matter of a few sentences.
I sat there broken. I didn’t know what to do next. I thought I had this pride thing licked years ago and now it is like I hadn’t learned anything. Somehow, I had forgotten to daily (or even weekly) ask for my pride to be removed and take up humility. How had I gotten back to this point again? I keep calling it pride, but let’s be honest here, it is SIN. Sin breaks relationships. The first one it breaks is my relationship with God and then it breaks my relationships with others.
Sin requires repentance and then seeking to reconcile the relationship. Instead of sending a message on social media, (where I had made this mess), I took a few weeks and wrote a letter. I apologized and asked for forgiveness. In time, I met up again with this young lady and she told me she forgave me. The relationship has a scar and I think we can both still feel it. I don’t like be the reason someone has to learn the lesson that people you care for will let you down or hurt you. I would hope that as a mentor, I would have told her about that instead of her having to learn that lesson because of me.
That is why it is so important that we learn to recognize the sin of pride. Pride has broken me too many times. I hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how it numbs me to the needs of others. I hate how it blinds me. I hate the relationships I have allowed it to steal from me. That is why I have to make humility a daily prayer.