In Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for hard truths spoken in love.
I have been blessed to have great mentors and as you typically do with mentors, you ask how you could improve.
One night I was chauffeuring Dr. Gregory Jones home from a revival (as ministers under his instruction would usually do) and asked him, “Where do you see me struggling? Where do I need to grow?”
Pastor Jones answered flatly and without hesitation, “You struggle with pride.”
I took his words to heart, repented and set out to understand pride and make war with it ever since. It’s a lifelong struggle because you never completely defeat a demon like pride in this life, you only learn to become better at fighting it. Demons depart from you for a season but are always lurking, looking for an opportunity to return (Luke 4:13, Matthew 12:43-45, Luke 11:24-26). #spiritualwarfare
As I’ve searched, prayed and laid my life bare before the Lord (Hebrews 4:12) I’ve learned that because I struggle with insecurity, I have a tendency to build makeshift structures: false pedestals to exalt myself and protect me from the pain of feeling small, that allow me to pretend which is hypocrisy and to make myself more or less than I am which is pride.
In my youth these pedestals were possessions, promiscuity and popularity. Now, it is the appearance of righteousness, accomplishments, having everything together and having it all figured out.
But these false pedestals always fail me and when they splinter, not only do I end up pierced through with many sorrows, my witness is undermined, my Master’s name is dishonored and the faith of some looking on can be weakened.
Now, I’m scared of heights as hell. (Catch that on your way home.)
Or, should I say that, by God’s grace I am wiser to the enemy’s tactics and the conditions that can lead to a heart lifted in pride. I struggle every day and thanks be to God for the struggle because it reminds me of my desperate need for God and that His abundant grace is sufficient for me, that I may humble myself under his hand and trust Him to build me up (1 Peter 5:6).
I have come to this knowledge because I had a mentor and a father in the faith who loved me with a Love that held me accountable and did not withhold the truths that were hard for me to hear and that were necessary for my growth and sanctification (Ephesians 4:11-16). I’m grateful. #52WoG