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Small Talk

It was interesting to find myself in two different study groups on this particular week, each participant sharing their testimony. What should have been a brief word of their testimony became a long version of their life history. I was a bit frustrated for some reason. I guess one reason was because we were not going to be able to get into the word because the time was running short. I had to sit back and consider other reasons for my frustrations. I think I was seeing reality more clearly. Women like to talk. Now, I know I am a woman, but I have had a quiet nature for the most part. I don’t really talk endlessly and I see no point in it. My testimony was pretty brief – I hit the highlights. The more others were talking, I thought, I want a do-over. But I realized that was my own desire to be heard coming from an insecure place.

How should a testimony be given? What are the specifics that are really important to share? What needs to be shared at a different time? I have never thought about this before until this moment. I gave the basics of my story. I realized others stories are just as important as what I had to say. God is at work in everyone’s life. In another group, one lady shared how God was working in her life. I realized I had asked God on this particular week to help me learn my place of importance. My pride gets the best of me sometimes. I heard someone say pride is what kicked Satan out of heaven. Ouch. I don’t want to think too highly of myself, but I know I do sometimes.

God is introducing me to a new perspective. I need to pay attention to these instances when circumstances repeat themselves. A friend was talking about seeing her car all around town recently. Before the last few weeks, she never saw it. But now everywhere she goes she sees herself. What’s the significance in that? I don’t know, but she’s been made aware of a pattern that she had never noticed before. When we are made aware of a pattern, we will recognize it when we see it. God is showing me a pattern that I can easily fall into unless I am aware of it. My pride will go before a fall. I need to recognize the pattern that so easily entangles me and causes me to fall. Falling is the pits!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4


Hindrance #1

As my usual practice, I sat down to a nice lunch and my internet tuned to one of my favorite pastors. What I thought was going to be a new word about Esther was really an old word on pride. I have been asking God during my devotional time to reveal to me where my heart is deceiving me. It was to my surprise that pride is such an issue currently in my life. I guess the surprise was the surprise. I knew I had many times in the past dealt with pride, but I thought it was in the past. That should have been my first clue. My heart was truly deceiving me. I recognize pride in others – it’s all around me. I see it in the way others boast about their accomplishments. I even have laughed about the fact when it is confronted in others. But really, do I still have issues with it? Oh yeah. One thing the pastor (Mark Driscoll) spoke about was that pride is masked in fear of failure. We lack the effort to try because of our pride issues and not wanting to look bad when we fail. Oh yeah, that’s me.

In the Word, God speaks about how He hates pride. Pride gives glory to me and not to God – hmmm, sounds a lot like idolatry. God says pride is an abomination to Him (Proverbs 16:5 ESV). He also states pride will go before a fall (Proverbs 16:18 ESV). God states that we should be clothed in humility. Humility means we know our place in this world. I am so much more aware of my status in this world after completing my latest book based on my life story. I am nothing without God. I am so blessed to have been taken out of my pit and set upon the Rock of Salvation. God could have left me in that pit of despair. But He didn’t. God looks at my heart and sees the darkness. But God being full of grace and mercy didn’t leave me in my darkness. He brought me out. He bandaged my wounds; healed my heart. He led me away from destruction into His light for His glory, not mine. He is the reason I should have no pride in my heart. I should be clothed in humility.

God is in the process of pruning and purifying me. There’s still so much more work to be done. But I submit to His shears. He has the best in mind for me. God wants us to be submitted to Him, but I have to intentional in my submitting. This isn’t a half-hearted attempt. I’m either all in or all out. It’s up to me to draw near. Here I am Lord!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:7-10 (ESV)

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