Pride or Purpose?
Recently, I engaged in a situation that I am not proud of. I allowed the enemy to creep in and speak lies to me. Genesis 4:7 warns us that "...sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." Well, I didn’t rule over it! I didn’t use the weapons of my warfare, which are not carnal; instead I let the flesh take over and I acted out of my feelings.
What ensued was a literal "war of words"! Emails with eloquently crafted arguments meant to annihilate one another and prove our points as right. Neither of us willing to concede, we continued the battle of politics, position, power, and what the Holy Spirit would soon reveal to me...my own PRIDE!
After lamenting to God and a good friend about the “nerve” of the person and “how dare they”! The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and asked me three questions, in the way only the Holy Spirit can.
1. "How can you lead, if you will not follow?"
Me: No answer.
2. "Do you care more about being right or righteous!?"
Me: Still, no answer.
3. "What will you choose, pride or purpose?”
Me: This one got me. Because I knew in my heart that the Holy Spirit was absolutely speaking the truth. "Looord!" Finally, an answer.
One of the most common Hebrew terms in the Bible used to describe pride is “gaon”. Included in this definition are the ideas of arrogance, cynical insensitivity to the needs of others, and presumption. It represents pride as both a disposition/attitude and a type of conduct. I exuded both the attitude and conduct of each of these definitions that day. I was so caught up in ME...that Jesus got left in the whirlwind. Looking back, I am disappointed in my behavior. It was reprehensible. There was no clue of my "Christianity" in the exchange. And to be truthful, I know I tainted my testimony that day.
There are several scriptures in the Bible that implore us to be humble. Humility that causes us “not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to” and to “pray and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways.” Humility that brings with it God’s promise to us to hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land. Humility that gives more grace and allows God to lift us up and exalt us. In reflection, I realize the reason why I did not demonstrate humility in that moment, was because I forgot who my God is…my protector, my vindicator, my help in the time of trouble, my table preparer in the presence of my enemies.
I thank God, that He already knew that I would miss the mark that day, and He sent his son, Jesus to die on the cross for that day, and all of the others that have come before, and all the days that will come after. I thank God for His love which covers a multitude of sins. I am thankful for the grace extended to me through Jesus Christ who will continue to do a good work in me. And I am grateful to the Holy Spirit who always leads and guides me into truth.
Lesson learned, at least for now...Righteousness over Rightness...Purpose over Pride...Lord, help me! Hope this helps you!