Friday, May 17, 2013

Lay Down My Pride

As you probably know, if you are here, I am currently doing the online Bible study over at Proverbs 31 Ministries, hosted by Melissa Taylor - Stressed Less Living by Tracie Miles.  As I have said before, sometimes, a book study doesn't meet me where I am at.  This one, on the other hand, I think was MADE for me!

One of the choices this week is writing about the stumbling block of pride.  This is a big one for me. Again, a topic that seems to have been designed to help me with a challenge.

When I think of pride, I tend to think of it as a kind of arrogance.  It's that boastful, confident, always-thinking-one's-right attitude.  I don't think I have that.  I've come to realise in recent years, though, that I suffer from another kind of pride and I think that's a bit like something Tracie was talking about in chapter 5.  My pride isn't the kind that's arrogant, mine is the kind that won't let me take risks because I already feel not good enough and I'm afraid of looking stupid.  My mistakes are more unforgiveable, while other people don't need to be perfect, I do.  It's such a destructive way for me to approach my life.

I don't know where it came from.  I grew up in a home where I would say that we had a sense of unconditional love and my parents didn't put a lot of pressure on us.  Somehow, though, I still absorbed the message from somewhere that I am not good enough.  I have this overwhelming sense of not being  inferior.  It's funny, those things that were supposed to make me feel better about myself (e.g., awards at school, academic success, being called "gifted"), just made me feel more inadequate.  I get an award and I feel like I don't deserve it.  I get praise and I feel embarrassed and yet, when I don't get praise, I feel even worse.  I've spent most of my adult life feeling not smart enough, not outgoing enough, not popular enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not a good enough mother...It's a never ending cycle of trying to be perfect to prove that I'm good enough and then feeling like I have failed and it's really had a horrible impact on my life.

Really, when I think about it, the arrogance of it is astounding.  I allow other people to make mistakes, I tell other people that they can't do it all and that sometimes, we need to accept help.  I lecture my students all the time about how mistakes are part of the learning process and yet, I don't see them that way myself, I see them only as failure.  Forgiveness is a bit the same.  I honestly do believe that God forgives me and yet, I have things that I have a hard time forgiving in myself.  Seriously, I think that somehow, my standards are higher than God's?  How does that work for me?  I consistently set the bar higher for myself and honestly, I have to admit, that is certainly a kind of arrogance.

I don't pretend that this study will make this character flaw of mine magically go away but it is certainly making me more aware of it in myself.  Already this week, I have had two occasions when I started to feel myself go into the "I have to find a way to fix this" mode and instead, I went to pray.  And the result?  I did feel some peace.  I need to "let go and let God" (which sounds so trite but honestly, is such a simple yet important truth).  Honestly, if I can tame this dragon in my life, I think the source of most of my stress will go.  Please pray for me, I need it!


  1. Sarah, you sound so much like me. I do know exactly how you feel. I will share with you something that God spoke to my heart at one time when I was condemning myself for my inadequate abilities. I could almost hear a voice saying, "so, you think you are more important then My Son?" I was taken aback! I said, "God, you know I don't!" I felt He was saying, 'yes you do because you don't consider His sacrifice enough to cover your mistakes." I wept. I've been working on that ever since.
    God bless you for sharing,
    Barbara P. (OBS small group leader)

  2. Thank you, Barbara! It is nice to hear your wisdom and to know that I am not the only one who struggles with this.

  3. Sarah,

    One of the best things about reading all the blogs is to find out that you are not the only one feeling what you feel. It is hard to accept our faults let alone even acknowledge that we have them. The wonderful thing about Christ is that he already knows our faults and yet still loves us. It looks like you have 2 wonderful people in your life that love you unconditionally as well;) I will be praying for you my friend;)

  4. Sarah I can associate with your pride - I have it - want to be perfect. This chapter really spoke to me also. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Debbie W. (OBS Facebook Group Leader)

  5. Thanks for sharing, I too relate to what you have said. I find accepting praise difficult or that I can make a difference. The extrovert trying to be a introvert. I will pray for you and you can pray for me as we let go and let God work in our lives. Blessings and prays . Marilyn

  6. It's a deal, Marilyn! I'm happy to pray for you and it's so wonderful to know that we are not alone!