Proverbs 16:18-19 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud."
Recently I had the opportunity to suck up my pride and humble myself like never before. If you know me, you know that I rarely bring myself to that level ... it's hard. Pride is a sin that every one of us struggles with. It plagues us and can ruin relationships and other things that we hold dear in our lives. It also builds walls and keep us from God. I learned the hard way what happens when we allow pride to rule our hearts and minds.
A few years ago a very good friend of mine, who happened to live up the street from me, moved away. Our families were very good friends and we had strong bonds between us. We spent a lot of time with these people. They were the type of friends who you could call at 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and say, "whats for dinner?" and just show up at their door five minutes later. Even though they only moved a few minutes away, I was devastated to lose the close connection that we had shared as close neighbors as well as friends. I also wished that my own family were at the point in which we were ready to move into a bigger house and frankly there was some jealousy brewing in my heart.
To keep myself from feeling replaced, envious and sad I completely shut these friends out. I made no attempts to have any sort of remnant of our previous friendship. This went on for two years. Did I feel better as planned? Sometimes it didn't bother me at all as I numbed myself pretty well. Other times I would terribly miss my friends and the closeness that we shared. My friend on the other hand had come to me on a few separate occasions, very upset and completely in the dark as to what had happened to our friendship. I flat out lied, made up excuses and brushed her off. I knew in my heart that to mend this friendship I would have to come clean and honestly it was easier to lose a great friend then to admit my pride. Isn't that sad? Pride can do awful things to your heart.
During my prayer time I, clear as day heard God to tell me that I had to deal with this. Even when I continued to brush off His words, He kept drilling it in to my head. When God wants you to do something, you do it. If you don't, He will find a way to get things done another way. After months and months of praying about the situation I finally made the decision to do the right thing although I was sick to my stomach about it. Knowing that I caused such a wonderful friend such pain because of my own selfish pride was a very hard thing to admit- especially to her! And God wasn't about let me to write an email ... I had to tell her to her face.
I met up with my friend, which was terribly uncomfortable. I won't lie, there was a reason that we met for margarita's! I just opened my mouth and let it all spill out. I admitted my sin, owned up to everything that I had done and asked for her forgiveness. Surprisingly, she got teary eyed and gladly accepted my apology and forgave me for everything. She didn't point any fingers or hold anything against me. She welcomed back her "prodigal friend" and I was very happy. That was even more humbling!
Instead of feeling exposed, lowely and awful like I thought I would feel after completely humbling myself, I felt free. Free to just let go all of those weighing feelings that pinned me down for some long. Free to finally let things be the way they were supposed to, without pressure, without keeping up a fake fisade or anything else. It will take time for my friend and I to come to the place that we were once at, but I am confidant that when God brings such great people into our lives, if we obey Him, He will guide those relationships back to where He can bless us through them again.
This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Nobody likes to admit when they have caused strife and hurt people. Nobody likes to be seen as weak or vulnerable either. As a person who holds herself up very strongly and depends on others for very little, this brought me to my knees and humbled me greatly. I challenge you to look at where your pride lies ... we all have it in some place or another. Pray on that and ask God what He wants you to do with it. You might be surprised at how freeing it really is to let go and let God. When you let go of your pride you also allow Him to work in your life and bestow even greater blessings on your own life. Psalms 149:4 "For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation."
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