Category Archives: Pride and Humility

Let Me Fail

Can you be thankful for your failures? Does it have any beneficial place in the life of the Christian?

My self-love was like a film over the eyes of my heart. I could see God, but the glimpses of Him were somewhat cloudy. Failure is the solution disolving the residue of pride. With each removal of pride comes a crisper view of the glory of God.

The Bible is a Witness; Not a Savior

How can you know if you are using the Bible to avoid Jesus? When it becomes a self-help manual instead of a platform to showcase your Redeemer. When the Bible produces to-do lists and not worship. When your Bible reading is devoid of prayer. Proper Bible reading first exposes sin, then offers a Savior. The Bible is a witness to the need for a Savior and the presentation of Jesus as that Savior.

Painful Pruning: An Unavoidable Season

When I consider the last decade of my life, I see a series of deaths:

Death of my pride through living in the shadow of my husband’s giftedness. Death of my fear of conflict through divorces in my family and among friends. Death of my fear of confrontation through difficult friendships. Death of my desires through multiple miscarriages. Death of my fear of failure through situations where I could not win. Death of my hope in myself through seeing my exposed sin in high-definition focus.

Each season of dying has felt just like that—dying. The choking out of something I have loved, desired, and clung to for hope, peace, and safety. The choking out of things in me, writhing, gasping for breath and praying, “Does it have to be this way? Can’t I follow You and also keep this with me? Does it really need to die?”

In God’s kingdom, pruning is caring. Jesus is the true vine, His Father the vinedresser. Every branch in Jesus that bears fruit, the Father prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1–2).

God’s answer to my question is yes. Yes, it does need to die. It must be pruned. Without pruning, my life will become something even I don’t want—an overgrown, thorny bush with no fruit to offer.

A Posture of Repentance

Growing up as a church kid, repentance wasn’t a good thing. It was like flu medication. If you got the flu, of course, it was commendable to take the medication. But even better than that was not getting sick. Avoiding sin was better than needing to repent. Goody-two-shoes that I was, this was great news. I was pretty good at obedience, at following the rule book. But sometime during those church-going years, I got a glimpse of God in His Word: His character, His beauty, His holiness. Rule-following was no longer appealing. Knowing Him was.

So you want to do something great for God…

I see my generation on the other side of their childhood dreams, entering their 30s somewhat disillusioned. For some working 9-to-5 jobs, the greatest success is keeping the bills paid and the boss happy. For many moms, the biggest accomplishment of the week is a clean kitchen and 15 minutes of Bible reading. Others did some “great” things for God right after college… 2 year mission trips, interning in a ministry, striving to hit it big as a [fill-in-the-blank-with-ministry-job], but seeing that work dwindle they are wondering what’s next. So much for changing the world for Jesus.

Spiritual gifts and noble desires sit on the shelf unused, itching to find an outlet to prove their effectiveness while whispers of what could have been hang in the air.

I want to pose a very important question. A question my soul needs answered every day. Does God want us to do something great for Him?

How to Handle the Stage: 5 Lessons from John the Baptist

Most stages today aren’t like the ones in your old high school auditorium. A stage can be anything that creates an audience for you. Twitter and Instagram, blogs and YouTube channels, websites and books are all forms of stages. Through these online avenues, you can now create your own audience with little to no risk at all. You don’t have to stare people in the eyes from your stage. It can be a stage on your own terms.

In addition to the easy access to a stage, our culture celebrates audience building. Wowed by those who’ve made it to the top, many long to join the ranks of those vloggers and bloggers with millions of followers. But for those who follow the Jesus who taught us that true greatness is servanthood (Mark 10:43–45), is it ever okay to pursue a stage? To promote a blog? To write a book? To seek out new followers? If the stage is so dangerous for our hearts, how do we view platforms we might already have?

Left Out: The Benefits of Exclusion

Being left out will always be a litmus test for pride. As soon as you realize you didn’t get the invite, you aren’t in the inner circle, or you are on the outside, one of two responses happen.

The first is the most common: hurt, disappointment, and/or anger. Under those surface feelings are deep roots of entitlement (a.k.a. pride). A feeling that you deserve to be included or that you have merited inclusion. Or that you are owed the opportunity to be included, assuming that it’s the fair thing to do. But our God isn’t fair, mercifully so (read more about that here). We live under grace and that changes the game.

To boil it down, being included is about being honored. Like the kids picked first for the kickball team, being chosen for any group is position of honor. No one wants to be last on the team, or worst of all, not picked at all. We want the places of honor.

God is Unfair.

God is unfair.

Matthew 20 forces us to deal with this hard reality. Though an equitable God who treats everyone with the same favor would be easier to handle, that’s not our God. Jesus makes this clear as He tells this parable.

What To Do With Self-Pity

Self-pity is simply the grief that I have nothing to brag about in myself.

Ever have those days when you feel like a failure at everything? The closer I walk with God, the more my sin, my deep-rooted self-love, comes into high-definition focus. And honestly, I’d really love to be the most put together person in the room, the most spiritual, the most holy, the most fill-in-the-blank woman I know. Why? [Honest confession time] Because I love boasting in myself!

An Exercise in Repentance

Repentance is the act of agreeing with God about our sin, turning from it and rejoicing in what God has done for us in Jesus. Most of our repentance is reactive. We repent primarily for the sins that are staring us in the face or the ones that others point out. And honestly, even then, sometimes we delay dealing with our sin.

But what if we weren’t just reactive in dealing with our sin, but proactive? This is a trait we see in many of the godly men and women of the Bible: Josiah (2 Chron. 34), Daniel (Dan 9), and David (Psalm 139:23-24) to name a few.

A Jesus-Heart for Children, Part 2

In the last post, we looked at how Jesus responded to children and how we can do the same. Whether or not we have children of our own, we need to cultivate a Biblical response to children. But what would Jesus have to say to moms? Being a mother entails a whole other level of interaction…

Faith, Humility, & The Glory of God: Foundations of Womanhood

In the last post, Biblical Womanhood, I introduced what will be a several part series on what the Bible has to say about womanhood. I briefly described the influence of feminism as well. And on that note, it is the influence of feminism that makes this topic such a touchy one. There are a lot of books,…

Redeem Halloween: Being Missional on Fright Night

And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2 Tonight, we will turn our porch lights on, set out a sign, and be handing out king sized candy bars to hundreds of kids, moms, dads, and teens.  Some will grumble that we receive sinners.  But they said this of Jesus…

Humility and Faith

Humility is emptiness of self; having no concern for your rights and your importance.  A humble person doesn’t feel entitled to anything but wrath from God.  In the last post I talked about the link between humility and seeing God clearly.  We looked at Isaiah, Peter, and John the Baptist, three men who had a big view of…

Humility: A Clear View of God

Nothing draws the heart of God to His people more than humility. Thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and the lowly of spirit.” Isaiah 57:15 “My hand made all these things, thus all these…

Entitlement: The Tip of the Iceberg

Imagine a deadly sickness has plagued our country. There are no outward symptoms, and the longer you were infected, the more convinced you were of your health. Yet one simple test could reveal whether or not you were sick. Would you be tested? The truth is, there is a deadly sickness plaguing our country. It…

An Unseen Enemy

The danger of an iceberg is not its great strength, but that its strength is hidden. Had the ice monstrosity that sunk the Titanic been above the water, it no doubt would have been seen and easily avoided. Pride—a desire to exalt oneself—is like an iceberg. It exists in the unseen realm of the heart…

The Inner Circle

I vividly remember standing outside of a literal circle of people. Though these girls were just acquaintances, I had hoped to join their conversation.  As 4,000 students shuffled through the halls of my high school, I awkwardly waited for someone to notice me.  No one noticed.  And to avoid looking weird, I headed off to class. I hated feeling…

The Best Marriage I Never Wanted

I married a humble, godly, romantic man at twenty years old. Did I mention he just happens to have a phenomenal voice and is a gifted songwriter? He writes me songs, loves Jesus like crazy, and because of his music career, we’ve traveled the world together. Every girls’ dream, right? Yet, exactly two weeks into…

Pride, Death, and A Great Redeemer

“Stop trying to do something for Me. Just let Me be your Redeemer.” This is the message I sense God is continually speaking to me lately.  Oh what a hard lesson for me to learn. There is something in me that desperately wants to do something amazing for God, to live a life that makes…