A Deadly Defense

I hate the monster of pride that screams within my soul for recognition, for respect, and for the need to be right. I always thought age would tame the selfish beast, but instead I'm only finding him more sophisticated in his feigned submission. Though he looks subdued, beware if you question his goodness. He might just claw your eyes out in deadly defense. My husband can testify that I speak truth.

I find myself thinking often of Andrew Murray’s words: “Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.” How beautiful our relationships would be if we were wholly emptied of ourselves. My heart beats with strong desire to have vision that is devoid of self and wholly consumed with God, but sometimes all I can see are my own wounds, my own wants, and my own way. I want to have a clear vision of God alone, but I keep finding myself confronted with the reality of I Cor 13:12. I’m confronted with the reality that in this life I will only ever see an imperfect and incomplete reflection of my Savior. And not only is that reflection incomplete, the blinding fog created by my own hot air often obscures Him altogether.

So with sight dimmed by self and sin, I cling to hope. Because even though I can’t fully see my Father as I desire, He can see me completely and perfectly. And not only does He see all of me, with all knowledge, and with all undestanding, He has chosen to see me through the perfect righteousness of His Son. And unbelievably, it gets even better. For as Paul says in I Cor 15:19, “If we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” My hope is not just a present hope, it’s a future hope that I will soon stand in front of my Redeemer and see His face. And when I see Him completely, I will love Him purely, and I will glorify Him perfectly.

Meanwhile, I pray for grace to see sweeter glimpses of Him. And I trust Him to keep patiently teaching this painfully slow learner what it means to love Him with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my mind. And I ask Him to keep patiently teaching me what it means to love my neighbor as myself, and to genuinely show sympathy to others, and to genuinely extend them compassion, and to genuinely enter into their joy. And I implore Him to keep teaching me what it means to embrace forgiveness, both in the asking and in the granting. And more than anything, I beg Him to keep teaching me what it means to live for His glory and not my own.

There's a beast of pride in me, a beast with an insatiable appetite. He's a beast of pride who would rather rise in deadly defense than to repose in humility and foster healing. Yes. There's a beast of pride in me, the same beast that's in you. By God's grace, let's slay him, not serve him; let's fight him, not feed him.