Both through recent conversations and humbling experiences, I have grown aware of how much pride seeps into my thoughts, words, and actions. Pride is one of the seven detestable sins. It grieves God immensely. The first sins, those of Adam and Eve as well as Satan himself, are rooted in pride. How have I grown so numb to this poison eating away at my heart and soul?
Although through much of my early life self-esteem issues plagued me, somehow the misconception that I could do the best in everything if only I tried harder coexisted. Driving to work the other day—when much of my pondering occurs—I realized that it was pride which prompted me to prove myself likeable or accomplished. Now in this pursuit to come off as agreeable and capable, being better than others in order to be the best has not been my intention. It is not about comparison for me. Otherwise the issue of pride would have been apparent to me long ago. Rather, it is a sense of redeeming myself in the eyes of others that in lies the problem of arrogance. It is a rebuff to God to hint at self-reliance. Falling right back into the sin of Adam and Eve, I act as though I can be like God in my own doing. I imply that I can self-improve to perfection—to worthiness.
If I live as though I can earn worth in order to secure the ever so desired love and esteem that results from it, I sadly miss out. It is by recognizing my ineptitude and God’s great grace that I have full access to that love without being worthy. That means the pursuit can be over. I can bask in the goodness of God now.
The gospel doesn’t say “you’re good enough;” it says “you’re not good enough, but it’s okay because Jesus is.”
However, it takes great humility to accept it. To say, “No I can’t ever be good enough; I won’t make it. I will take your offered love just the same, undeservedly,” is immensely hard. We are such a reward-based society, thus the difficultly in admitting we can attain something so good without deserving it. If I bow thus in humility before God and accept his goodness in all things without ever achieving what I would deem excellent, then I can far more easily extend grace to others I will be in the right position as servant to tell the world about the good news of Jesus—what a glorious thought!