So many times I feel pride coursing through my veins.
This wasn’t the running theme of my life – not that I knew of – until 2 months ago when the circuit breaker bombshell fell on us all and I began to spend more (unhurried) time with God.
He revealed to me with stunning clarity that so many of my actions and thoughts were rooted in pride.
From a simple, ordinary text message, I saw what my intentions truly were: to prove that I’m diligent and efficient, that I have initiative and I don’t have to be told what to do, that I’m better than everyone else.
From here on I developed a (hyper) sensitivity to my motivations, almost like a metacognition. What am I trying to achieve by doing or saying this?
It is easy to find Bible verses about how pride leads to destruction and how God detests pride. However, beyond mere deterrence, I sought to cultivate godly humility that would fill and flow from my heart.
After all, we aren’t called to just not do the wrong thing, but to do the right thing.
There was once when I was praying, utterly frustrated with my lack of progress, and God dropped John 15:5 into my heart.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
As I meditated on this verse, I was brought on a journey of understanding my struggle and discovering God’s character over time.
GIVING GOD THE CREDIT
“I am the vine; you are the branches.”
Jesus vine, Corinna branch, and the work of my hands are the leaves.
I say this in my head every time prideful thoughts about my achievements decide to pay me a visit. Because without Jesus, my achievements wouldn’t be possible – just as how without the vine, the branches and leaves wouldn’t exist.
As I was studying the book of Acts during my Quiet Time, what caught my attention repeatedly was how Paul and his companions talked about their missionary trips.
They reported “everything God had done through them” (Acts 14:27) and gave a “detailed account of the things God had accomplished… through his ministry” (Acts 21:19). The emphasis was always on God’s power working through willing human vessels.
Once as I was spending time with God, He showed me that each leaf growing out of the Corinna branch had Jesus’ name stitched into their veins. But He also showed me how my name could share the space because every work is a partnership.
Such tenderness brought much comfort. It helped me realise that I could still rejoice in my achievements, as long as I recognise that the source of all good works is from the Father! (James 1:17)
What this looks like practically is while I accept compliments for having done something well, I give glory to God and acknowledge His major role in making my accomplishment possible.
BEING CONNECTED TO THE RIGHT SOURCE
‘If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Though not an official fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), humility is a godly fruit that I desire to have.
Whenever I feel the urge to speak or act pridefully, I pray and ask God to fill me with His humility. Direct from the source, 100% fresh. This has helped me identify what are the words that are charged with arrogance and remove them when I’m texting.
It is a choice to dwell in Jesus. Though we have received salvation, we could still be drawing from worldly junk. If we bear rotten fruit (pride), it only goes to show which vine we are attached to – the evil one’s.
On the flip side, when we are connected to the source, we can bear fruit such as humility.
WORKING TOGETHER IS A PRIVILEGE
“apart from me you can do nothing”
This goes back to God loving us so much that He wants us to play an important part in His sovereign plan. He could easily do everything Himself, but that’s not how relationships work.
Relationships include partnership and cooperation – it’s not a relationship if just one party does everything while the other has zero involvement. God wants us to share in the sense of achievement when His will and plans are fulfilled. That’s the highest privilege.
It is almost like God saying: “My child, I don’t want you to be apart from Me.”
This revelation helped me to see God’s heart behind the pruning process – that pride keeps me apart from Him because it encourages independence!
As I share this now, I’m still a work in progress in the area of pride, and many times I still fail at being humble.
But as Philippians 1:6 goes, I am certain that God who began the good work within me will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day Jesus returns!
- In which situations does it become easy for you to be prideful?
- Why is humility important?
- What does it mean to remain/abide in Jesus in your daily living?