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Dear Unsuspecting Friend,
You think you don’t know me.
But, oh. You do.
I pride (pardon the pun) myself on my sneaky style and I infiltrate around your very being by the ways of the world, by the lies you are led to believe.
Lies like “You don’t need God. You can do it yourself.”
Or “You are in the right and you’ve done nothing wrong. You don’t need to talk to that person. It’s her problem.”
Or even something like “I should be important here because, by golly, I AM important and I won’t let you know that really, deep-down, I’m a complete mess of insecure humanity that I don’t want to share with others because, well, I’m important. There’s no need for vulnerability because I can’t crack the exterior and reveal any weakness whatsoever because, well, I’m important.”
But get this – I can also work on lies like “If I don’t do it, no one else will.” And I really enjoy the one where you work yourself into a tizzy because you’re unable to help someone or you think you must be their personal Jesus – all along forgetting that sometimes, there’s work that only He can do.
I kinda like to put you in the way of your own self.
That serpent in the garden and I are frighteningly similar. I like to send curve-balls and keep you from authentic relationship with others because I am the gatekeeper of intimacy. No one gets it if they can’t get rid of me.
My twin brother, Lack of Humility, and I work in tandem to derail relationships because we know those relationships with others have enormous potential to be a positive force in your life. So we like to prevent that from happening whenever we can.
And oh, the ego. My how I love to work through egos. Some say that EGO is an acronym for “Edging God Out.” I just love when that happens.
See, if we can get that God guy out of the way, then I can do some really great work in you.
I can make you think you are the only one that matters.
I can turn you into a critical mass of selves – self-righteous, self-centered, self-unaware.
I can close your mind to new possibilities because I keep your old schemas locked in a box without the possibility of change because change oftentimes requires vulnerability and remember how we don’t ever want to do THAT.
Most of all, I can destroy those you love the most because of my finesse in masking the deep-seeded truth. I’m the room divider between that loved one and authentic relationship at an intimacy level that would knock your socks off.
So, how do you get rid of me, you may wonder?
I don’t really want to tell you because well, I have a lot of myself, but there are ways to shoo me off:
1. Explore the meaning of humility. Realize you aren’t always going to be perfect, look for your misstep, own it by apologizing, and admit when you’re wrong.
2. Examine the destruction I’ve caused. The rift between Esau and Jacob. Rachel and Leah. Samson and Delilah. I’ve been doing it for years and I’m still at it – and I will be until the one I prey upon begins to realize I’m a havoc-wreaker.
3. Pray to God to reveal me to you. Ask Him to show you where I might come into play then fight it with scripture. Meditate on that scripture by this awesome list of them here.
4. Ask yourself why you are committing to something you’ve been asked to do. Is it because of recognition? Status? You think nobody else can do it?
5. Stop using me so flippantly. Telling your kids “I’m so proud of you!” is fun for me because it breeds performance-based approval and I begin my work at an early age. Instead, you could say things like “Doesn’t that make you feel good to _______?” or “You’ve worked really hard at that and it shows!”but I don’t really want you to. I like to show myself as a good thing early-on because I can get more done that way.
I know there’s scripture that says a lot of bad stuff about me. That’s OK. I don’t need scripture because I have, well, myself. I can do it alone.
Your “Good” Friend,
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2