Monday, May 15, 2006

Pride

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble."

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny...because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment...because you "deserve better than this."
I cheat you of knowledge...because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing...because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness...because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you of vision...becasue you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship...because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love...because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven...because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory...because I convince you to seek your own.

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you. Untrue.

God has so much for you, I admit.
But don't worry...

If you stick with me, You'll never know.
-Broadman & Holman

Oh Lord, forgive my prideful attitudes and actions. I am so undeserving of Your grace. I'm trying to follow you and walk in your ways, but it isn't always easy. Before I know it I am walking in pride, losing the blessings you would have for me. And when I am prideful, You resist me! And if You resist me, Heavenly Father, then all the world might as well be against me.

Help me to be completely broken and usable for Your service and glory. I love you Lord!

9 comments:

BrittLeigh said...

If that's not thought provoking, soul searching, deeply convicting and dreadfully eye-opening, I don't know what is! Thanks for sharing that. It's easy to forget how powerful and reeking, stinking ugly pride is... Yet so very, very subtle. Great post, Bethany. Not easy to swallow, kind of tough on my pride, but very needed and taken to heart! (((hugs)))

Ryebread said...

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” —Isaiah 57:15

I have always marveled at the stark contrast that is pictured in this passage of scripture... Here you have the Most High God, who says that he dwells in the High and Holy place, but also with him that is of a contrite, humble spirit... What a mighty God we serve! How can he inhabit eternity and dwell in a humble vessel?

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” —2 Corinthians 4:7

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood."
-- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- --
Thanks, Bethany! I know that my pride steps in the way of my spiritual life way too many times.... And it always ends up cheating me out of God's best.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” —Hebrews 13:20, 21
May God richly bless you!
In Him,
Ryan

Monica said...

I think the other two have said everything I thought I was going to say. Thank you for this post. It has opened my eyes and helped me see that alot of times I do let my pride get in the way of what God would have for me. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Yet we desire to live a life set apart for God. On fire for him!! Yet how many times do I find that I am more concerned about my christian walk being what I think it should be. Thinking...God, this isn't the way my walk with you is supposed to work...is it.???? I know I find that as I walk this road called earth I find that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, and that looking unto Jesus, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. May we live in Him.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh...
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!
Gal. 2:20

Twin

Rachel Marie said...

Beautiful and thought-provoking post, Bethany!

I am so thankful for a loving heavenly Father who forgives daily my foolish heart of pride!

My foolish, ungrateful heart of pride that forgets that without Him, I truly am NOTHING!!!

I've always been blessed richly and challenged by Philippians chapter 2, esp. verses 4-9:
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:"

Oh, to have the mind of Christ!
Christ-like humility!

Keep pressing on!=)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you were feeling a little “off track“. With the schedule you follow I think I would have to put my mind on “defrag” once in awhile just to let things clear.

Sometimes when we feel lost and just put ourselves in God’s love is when he makes himself most known. And sometimes this is when he brings some event or a special person into our lives that makes things seem right again.

By the way, your family has my admiration for being able to carry on the ministry you do and encourage each other to develop your talents. I don’t how you manage to keep a travel life, a home life, a music ministry and still keep things running smoothly.

I see you have some black and white photography on your site. It is an interesting medium in which to work. It’s a nice alternative to color for certain subjects or effects, from subtle to dramatic

That is a really neat picture of you and your harp. I know very little about harps except they are impressive instruments, can produce wonderful music and apparently are rather difficult to play. That looks like a beautiful harp your are playing. Do you perform much?

How is the Nocturne coming? I haven’t run across N - 55 - 1 at home or at the library. But if it is anything like some of Chopin’s other work, it is definitely challenging. I don’t play the piano and probably wouldn’t understand all of the complexity of the piece. I only play the piano well enough to be annoying.

I know you have no idea who I am other than another (hopefully smiling) face in the Old Thresher’s audience (and a couple Baptist churches that let us sneak in to hear your family.) And I usually don’t give advice because I’m bad at it. But for what little encouragement it may be worth....

From a few statements you make, you sometimes seem very critical of yourself. Please don’t be. Your were created in God’s infinite love. He will always love you, watch over you and guide you. For someone so talented and with such a talented family for support, don’t ever feel bad about your accomplishments (or mistakes). We’re human.

Pride and ego are not innately bad things. They are what often drive us to higher accomplishments. If out of control, they may put some distance between us and God and often the people around us. But when we use them creatively, they can help us achieve goals that we might not try otherwise. It is important to have your work and your life recognized. Without it you can very easily feel like your are working in a vacuum or that nobody cares.

I see the look of pride on your parent’s faces when your family is performing. I see the joy on the faces of your family as the audience shows their appreciation. I see the look on your face when you finish your “fast singing” song and the audience applauds for “one more time”. It’s wonderful!! And probably encourages all of you to want to perform your best. God already knows your heart and that you love him and are serving him. And so will those around you.

So please don’t ever feel guilty. (Unless, of course, you have done something horribly disgusting like running for congress or become a public school teacher.) Seriously, guilt is not productive. It usually works through fear, which a lot of people like to try impose on us. But I’ve found people respond best to love and respect. Which was one of the lessons Jesus was trying to teach us.

And if my advice isn’t any good, I think it is biodegradable. I won’t be offended.

Just remember, you are always loved.

Blessings to you and your family.

Your Old Threshers Fan

Bethany said...

Thank you for your comments, everyone! It is such a blessing to hear your insights on the same subject.
--------------------
Britt -- thank you for the hugs! If you ever come to Seward to visit 'someone' what a treat it would be to meet you!
--------------------
Ryan -- what a wonderful scriptures. Humility is such a vast subject! Thank you.
--------------------
And "Anonymous Old Thresher's Fan," I finally think I know who you are...with a little help from my sister. :)

You asked about the "Nocturne" piano peice -- you should have heard my shouts go up last Thursday, for I finally passed the peice! Yahoo!

I also continue to take harp lessons. Over the years that I have had it, I have been able to play for some weddings and nursing homes, which has been special. Other than that, I haven't done much. Mommy wants me to make her a harp CD - maybe within the next year or two...

And thank you for your encouragement. I pray that everyday I grow closer to the Savior. He truly is my Redeemer and my joy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! With all of the thousands of people you meet each year, if you can remember me (us), that's kind of amazing.

Congratulations on the Chopin. And I hope you do make a harp recording.

It's probably best all around if I remain "anonymous" But if we happen to run into each other this fall, and you guessed right, I'm sure we'll know.

Congratulations to your family on the coming addition, by the way. It looks like the timing could be a little close for Old Threshers.

Hope you keep up with both the family site and yours. It's nice to know how things are going. You touch a lot of people's lives.

Wishing you the best

your Old Threshers Fan

Anonymous said...

Oh, pride, how often I let it get in the way!:( Way to often!

Thank you for constantly pouring out, and giving of yourself, your time, and your desires to not only share a glimpse of what God is doing, but a vast, and beautiful challenge, appilcation, or exhortation! I cannot emphasize enough what God has taught, convicted, challenged, and molded me through your blog. Please, please, keep up the good work, sister!!!:)

Love, hugs, and smiles your way!

PS--The harp CD is a SUPER idea!