The serpent of pride that dwells within our hearts is continually searching for ways to satisfy its gluttonous appetite with the flesh of self-exaltation. If driven out of one corner of our hearts, it will slither to another. One of its most sophisticated survival instincts involves its ability to camouflage itself against the backdrop of virtue, skillfully making self-promoting expressions of nothingness and self-preserving acceptances and acquiescences appear as humility. Presenting itself as a paragon of spiritual intention, it can hiss messages of love, grace and compassion even as it feeds on the flesh of fear.
I hate this pride that lurks within my heart. I hate its hunger for attention and for affirmation, its thirst for promotion and protection. I hate when it shakes my bold stance on Truth. And I hate when I see its wiles compromising the resolve and calibrating the responses of the people I counsel. I hate when its disguise against the backdrop of virtue causes a wife to reason that her acceptance of a husband's pattern of sinful mistreatment is driven by love. Or when it causes a parent to surmise that their silence about a child's sinful lifestyle is driven by grace. Or most sadly, when its disguise causes a pastor to suppose that his soft preaching on sin is driven by compassion.
We're being bombarded by the lies of the Enemy in new ways with the advancement of social media, but it's the sin within us that is the real threat to our solid footing. We can't afford to be duped by pride that masquerades as humble virtue. When we live in a culture where people are identifying themselves by their feelings and attractions, it's inevitable that they are going to feel personal rejection from us when we stand on the Truth that declares that self-identification to be sin. That's a very difficult fact to reconcile. For most of us, the last thing we want is for those we love to feel that we're rejecting them. Especially family and friends. But the only way to offer help that is deeper and more eternally-significant than the maintenance of our own desires is to relate from a heart of genuine love and humility that isn't marked by any coddling of self-serving interest.
“Humble men are those who think themselves so little, they do not think it worth while to stoop to serve themselves. Daniel was a humble man. He did not think his place, his station, his whole self worth enough to save by leaving off prayer. Seek of God the gift of true humility. Never ask to be a mean or cringing or fawning thing, but ask God to make you a man—a man who only fears God, who knows no fear of any other kind. Do not give yourselves up to any man's power, or guidance, or rule, but ask of God that you may have that genuine humility towards him which gives you the noble bearing of a Christian…It is a great mercy when God gives a man the humility to be free from everybody.” C. H. Spurgeon, 1856
I want to be a woman who is free from everybody. I want to be a woman who only fears God. I want my faith in His sovereign goodness to reign in my heart strongly enough to stand boldly and bravely on Truth with humility and love. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. It takes discipline. It takes intentional pursuit. It takes saturating myself with the Word that exposes light on the serpent of selfish pride that entwines itself around every chamber of my heart. It takes grace.
I bow to One Lord, One King, One Savior. I stand my ground on the Truth of His Word as one who is unshakable, unmovable, unstoppable. And by His grace, I stand my ground with a determined face of humility.
Because of Christ, this is my declaration. May it be yours.
"Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame." Isaiah 50:7