How Did We End Up Here? Recognizing Pride

I envy crafty people.
I can spend hours browsing Pinterest, buy a small fortune in supplies, only to end up with a mess. At one point it was jewelry. I imagined the beautiful pieces I would create, picturing myself proudly gifting them at Christmastime. It appeared so deceptively easy! You can guess how that ended. How I cannot string a simple set of beads into an order worthy of adornment is beyond me! I finally admitted defeat and surrendered my supplies to a someone more talented.

But God used my attempt at jewelry design, to teach me an unexpected lesson. When I began purchasing jewelry supplies, I was surprised to see so many teeny-tiny pieces. Though many of these “findings” look similar, each piece is designed to serve a specific purpose. And if used incorrectly, the finished product does not function properly.

In a similar way, God created each person with unique abilities and strengths to serve specific purposes, where He knows we best fit, perfectly complimenting the family of Christ. Like intricate jewelry, each unique finding works together to create a beautiful adornment. But when one item is missing, or used incorrectly, the entire piece is affected. When we shy away from our intended purposes, or serve in areas we were not designed for, we become ineffective, ultimately dishonoring the One we are created to adorn!

How do we end up here?

Pride in disguise.
As Christ followers, Satan cannot destroy us, our salvation is secure. So he redirects his weapons of destruction toward our effectiveness. We are wisely warned to practice humility. However, oftentimes we misplace this practice in avoiding publicly seen positions. Our enemy is a master of deception, disguising evil intentions as good. He is adept at disguising the sin of pride, under the pretenses of humility, using our own human doubt.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (CSB)

Satan planted a seed of doubt within Eve’s mind. And he played to the human condition of pride. He not only set out to get Eve to doubt God’s goodness itself, but to also doubt herself, that maybe she didn’t really hear God correctly. Reasoning … if she was wrong, and didn’t really hear God say what she thought, what was keeping her from taking what looked good to her? And God surely wanted her to be happy. After all, it is all about her, right? Pride.

Pride is one of the most destructive things we can possess, and also one of the most difficult to identify in ourselves.

Being alert to the enemy’s desire to set up a position of pride in our hearts, we must guard ourselves by meditating on God’s Word, prayer, and engaging in transparent friendships with people who see us as we truly are, holding us accountable to living in obedience to God’s Word. As a child of God, you have God-given talents equipping you to lead effectively. Whether you are serving through those strengths or not, only you will know by doing some introspective self evaluation:

Are you believing satan’s lies of false humility?
Are you doubting your motives, your talents or your calling?

I’ve been there. I have doubted what God has confirmed. I have questioned and doubted my own motives. I have believed Satan’s lie that if I were to serve in the position of leadership God was preparing me for, I would be perceived as seeking attention. I question… what if I am only seeking attention? What if my motives are not pure? After all Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is more deceitful than all else … Who can understand it?” And on and on. I call it paralysis by analysis. But let’s call it what it really is. Simply pride. Disguised as doubt and false humility.

Don’t fall for Satan’s oldest trick. Creating doubt is his ace in the hole. He is out to destroy God’s work, to destroy our testimony, to destroy our effectiveness. As a child of God, Satan can’t destroy you, but he can render you ineffective.

Be alert.  Be bold.
Be confident in knowing God’s truth.
Don’t let the enemy sabotage your influence.

Are you serving in your God designed strengths?
Are you filling a spot that you were not designed to fill?
Are you living as a spectator – afraid or not sure how to start?
Have you slipped into complacency – content with a lack of desire to go beyond filling a chair on Sunday mornings?

If you are stuck not knowing where to start, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Find a godly mentor to help you identify your God-created strengths. We all need guidance. We are not called to do this thing alone.

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