Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pride vs. Blessings

Pride. It's kind of an ugly word, isn't it? The first definition of pride on dictionary.com is:
  1. a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
But what got me more, were the words synonymous with pride. Ego, self-regard, haughtiness, insolence, or (the one that gets me most) lordliness.
In my Life Group (what we call our Sunday school) class, we have been studying different topics & we've been using Proverbs for our Biblical references. When we are discussing poor attributes (i.e. anger) and reading scripture on how to correctly respond in situations, we very often come back to the same reason for them; Pride. It somehow all comes back to our pride.
I know this isn't a new thing. I know we've all realized it before. I know that people struggle with this all the time. I know that I struggle with pride all the time. It's that big thing that I keep "learning". I use the quotes because every time I think I learned my lesson, I just keep falling on my face again…
This week something different happened. I'll start with a mini-recap; my best friend and I have talked on and off for a while now about blessings, about how God wants to bless His children. I looked it up on an online concordance, and the word 'bless' (included blessing and blessed) was mentioned 522 times. WOW!!! Let me say it again… 522!!! That's a lot of talk about someone being blessed. So why is it that we so often don't feel like we will be… or in my case, why do I try to block them? It really doesn't make much sense, does it?
I recently planned a trip with a friend. We were going to go this weekend to St. Louis so she could see friends of hers and I could spend time with my best friend. Well, my friend's daughter (who has 3 small kids) slipped on a small rubber ball her 1 ½ year old threw towards her and broke her ankle. After I heard this, I tried and tried to figure out a way to make my car make the trip, but knew that it couldn't. So, I figured no trip. I thought that I wasn't able to make it after all, and I would just have to wait until July to see F.
But then I got an e-mail. My friend I was supposed to travel with wanted to rent me a car so I could still go. Amazing, right? A normal human being would probably think so. But me, I completely balked. No way. I was shaking my head and talking to myself while I read the e-mail (which she said I'd do in the e-mail. HA) and thinking there was no way I could accept such a gift from someone. It's a huge gift. It's a lot of money. No way! But then I thought about something… why would I say no? After praying and talking to a couple of friends I realized something…
My pride wanted me to say no. Was I going to listen to my pride and tell this friend no, or did I allow God to bless me through her? Ultimately my friend was blessing me by giving me a way to fellowship with my best friend. Someone who (as I like to say) knows me better then I know myself. And how amazing is it when you are able to be the one that God uses to bless someone else. It's like I was not only blocking a blessing to me, but one to my friend as well.
Are you allowing pride to block blessings? Because if you are, remind yourself of what the Lord told Moses to tell the Israelites (His people!) in Numbers 6:24-26:

"The LORD bless you
and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace."


Tiffany Godbey said...

I love it Joy! When pride can't come from one extreme, it comes from the other, doesn't it? Were you there last Sunday? Did you hear Pastor Mike talk about how it's pride that doesn't allow us to recieve the blessings of others?
I thought of our conversation :)

Joy said...

I wan't there... well, I was, I was just doing extended session with the 1 year olds... Now I'm really looking forward to getting the CD (more then I normally am... haha)!