Pride – I’m suffering with a little of it, okay, maybe a lot, but “little” sounds much better to this soul wrestling with it. I had a friend confess to me recently that she was dealing with some pride, and I want her to know if and when she reads this, that I am not talking to her. This post was already planned out before our talk based on God’s work in me. The funny thing is that she sat across the table from me, told me her story, and I didn’t say anything about my pride. There were many reasons, but one could be my own pride that kept me from going there.
Lately, I’ve had a couple of things happen where instead of being contacted in real life by friends or family to tell me some important news, I heard it second hand via another media – facebook, second hand texts, etc. and it stung. It is after all, the nature of the world we live in. But the thing is, God immediately convicted me. I myself am guilty of doing those types of things, but that wasn’t how I was convicted. It was as if God spoke to me, “Jamie, you want people to contact you first, so you will know that you are of importance to them, and your importance to them is not high on My priority list. It should not be high on yours either.” Ouch!
Hi, my name is Jamie, and in case you haven’t already noticed around here, I am a people pleaser. People pleasers can soak up the love of others like a sponge, and sometimes their desire to be loved is so strong, it overwhelms what is good, true, and right. It becomes a god. Ugh – I mean how long before I get that other people cannot be God to me?
So people pleasers, what can we do about it? Here are some things the Lord reminded me that I want to encourage you with as you walk away from pride or wrestle with it:
- Pride in the Bible is associated with haughty eyes. When we cast out our eyes looking for others affections, other than the Lord’s, guess what, they are haughty! Father I pray that those who struggle with haughty eyes will fix their eyes on you, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).
- Pride goes before destruction. A sure way to walk away from the blessing of God and into His wrath is by being prideful, and I simply don’t want to do that. How about you? Our Most High God loves you with an everlasting love, but our love waxes and wanes and continually falls short. The point though of His love is that we declare His name. We don’t receive His love to gain love from others; we receive it to give glory to Him. In short, it’s not about me, but all about Him! The surest way to kill our own pride is to humble ourselves and remember our place before Him.
- A people pleaser wants to be loved and to be favored. There are many reasons why they desire this, but a people pleaser needs to know that he or she is never more loved by God than he or she is in this very moment – whether it be a mountain top moment or the lowest of the low moments. One needs to preach this to herself at all times. Be willing to receive His love over any other. His is the only true love.
- People pleasers are usually trapped and enslaved. Their slavery is often a mental entrapment to unstable thoughts. My prayer for you that are still in that slavery is that the God of all heaven would give you a glimpse of your own depravity. Many good girl people pleasers just don’t realize how good they are not. They make judgements and say things like, “I would never.” I recently heard a testimony which told of a woman who become aware of the depth of her sin at the same time she became aware of the depth of His love for her. As she saw her own depravity, she realized that He had wrapped her in the embrace of His grace. As she became very aware of her own deep sin nature, she was so aware of how forgiven she was. She did not stay a place of guilt and shame, and friend, He doesn’t want us to rest in guilt or shame. I pray that God would give you a glimpse of the depth of your sin accompanied by the depth of His love and your forgiveness. When this happens, freedom begins.
- Lastly, we are not called to receive love, we are called to love, to give love. Love is active. Although I think it is hard for a people pleaser who is still enslaved to genuinely love without bounds, this is His command: Love each other as I have loved you. Forgive others offenses and keep pouring out His grace. Seek His word for continual wisdom on every situation.