Pride blinds us and keeps us from following God. We live in a state of self-deception, thinking that just because we see something in Scripture and agree with it, we’re following it. Especially for people who have followed God a long time, we rest on our past laurels, how God transformed us in the past, not realizing that if God is not transforming us NOW, that we are not really as mature as we think we are. Often new converts are following God more closely than we are, but we show contempt for them because we’ve been past that stage for so long. God wants to soften our hearts so that we will be in a continuous state of yielding to Him. True humility is beautiful.
We don’t want to confess sin to each other for fear of what other people will think of us, even though Scripture commands us to do so. I read a sweet article about a woman being convicted about lying. The automatic reaction of my heart was that I was beyond that, because I don’t struggle with that particular sin. This is the reaction of a prideful person. This is ugly, and God is not pleased. So what if we don’t struggle with that particular sin? We struggle with others, if we are honest with ourselves.
In fact, as believers, when we look like we are sinning and far from God because of a struggle with sin, that’s often when we are drawing closer to God than ever, going through a gargantuan growth spurt in our walk with God. And yet we label these people as immature because they are being honest about their sin.
Let’s take, for example, the time I raged at God over potty training. How ridiculous, says the person who has never gone through that trial. They look down on me, thinking me stupid and trivial. Yet if I told them my rape testimony and how I never raged at God about that, they would clap their hand over their mouth, shocked at God’s glory shining out of my life miraculously through such an event.
So why don’t we have the guts to say what is really going on in our lives, even though it makes us look stupid and immature? Why did I never link to my “Anger and Potty Training” article that I wrote two years ago? Why was I embarrassed by it? That trial transformed me, so that I was able to perform a disgusting task with joy. And God gets all the glory because my behavior looks so yucky. For crying out loud, what gives me the gall to rage at God? Honestly, the anger was already there, and the moment I was honest with God was the moment He changed me. I didn’t want to admit that I was so furious about it. The trial of potty training was put there by God to sanctify me. God was concerned about my reaction to the trial, NOT to the potty training itself.
Because of my obedience to God in posting an extremely embarrassing article (and having to crucify my pride to do it), I’ve gotten e-mails from sweet mothers of small children, thanking me profusely for posting it. Why? Because they felt alone. They knew that their anger over potty training was wrong, but they didn’t know what to do about it. Express your frustration to God. God is NOT surprised. Job ranted at God, and God never rebuked him for it. (I am not saying that it’s godly to rage at God; I’m saying that when you are dealing honestly with God full blast, God will transform you through your pain.) Many people who have lost children have initially shaken their fists at God with rage (because God is in control of the universe and could have prevented it), but then they continue to throw themselves in God’s direction, and God transforms them and draws them closer to Himself. If you look at a snapshot of the person raging, you might look down on them as being spiritually immature when the absolute opposite is happening – a gigantic spiritual growth spurt. Allow people to look ugly for a minute. Grant them that grace. God Himself knows their hearts and grants them this grace, so why shouldn’t we?
We’re commanded to boast about our weaknesses. Why? Because God gets glory. Spiritual growth looks ugly BEFORE the transition to a greater state of holiness.
Wisdom is married to humility. I want to hang around people who are humble and wise. God, grant me the humility to love people for real, and to be honest about my own sin. May I never put my own image before God’s glory.Tweet