Do you ever struggle with pride? Now be honest. Don't lie to me. Or to yourself.
Pride is the basis for well... let's just say it... all sin. Proverbs 16:18 puts it clearly: "Pride goes before destruction..." (NASB)
Think about it. Every sin you've committed - okay narrow it down to a few - think about the motive behind it. It had something to do with your pride, didn't it? We're such selfish beings, we want this, we want that, we want to do things our way, we can't stand anyone outdoing us, or someone having something we don't have, or worse - having people think badly of us. It's all pride. Pride. Pride. Pride.
A recent incident made me think hard on this issue of pride in my life. With the economy and other factors, we traded in our beloved and mucho decked out Expedition, Little Gracie. I loved her. We all did. She was comfy. She was huge. She had every bell and whistle Ford makes. The seats themselves could heat or cool your bum and move five kazillion ways. Everything was computerized and motorized and at your fingertips with a push of a button. She even had power running boards. (That if you moved too quick, you'd hit your shins on while they were whirring their way up and down.) :)
We were stinkin' spoiled.
But times are changing. We'd done so much traveling in beautiful Little Gracie, that her mileage was getting on up there for a young vehicle. We also needed to see where we could save money. Figuring we could save half (did you read that?) HALF of my gas budget if we downsized, we knew we needed to be good stewards.
The decision itself was easy. The dealership that we bought from made everything even easier and delivered everything to our house. BUT, my pride kicked in at the last minute when I thought of actually giving up my much-beloved vehicle. I thought, "it won't be the same!" (Waah, wah, whine, whine, grumble, complain.)
Thankfully, I have a loving Heavenly Father who graciously hits me over the head with the much needed proverbial 2x4 in times such as these.
WHAM! In that split-second, I knew my pride had gotten the better of me once again.
Who cares if it's not the same? Who cares that I'm not driving down the road in my swanky, oversized, over-optioned vehicle? Good grief, did you read that? It's totally ridiculous! Who cares?
I found myself laughing in the driveway. There are people in the world starving, homeless, orphaned, so how dare I balk in the face of all that - at merely saying goodbye to a stupid (excuse my use of the s-word) vehicle? That stinkin' pride. Always sneakin' up and givin' me grief.
Well, let me just tell you that after that brief moment of slacking (okay, so maybe it was momentS) there hasn't been one doubt in my mind. Material possessions have far too strong of a hold on this ol' world, and I don't want to be hanging on to anything like that. I'll hang on to Jesus. The Author and Finisher of my faith.
As I walked back up my driveway and as Little Gracie drove away, I looked at my kids. We've tried really hard to teach them about stewardship and about the fact that when we leave this earth, we're not taking any of this "stuff" with us. And for another brief instant, I was worried about them. Were they sad to see the vehicle go?
I asked them. And guess what? They laughed. They didn't care. They put their arms around me and said, "it's just a car, Mom. Who cares?"
Out of the mouths of babes. Again, I wondered how the good Lord could use an inadequate vessel like me to rear these two fine teenagers. I shook my head and laughed with them.
And we haven't looked back. As I'm zippin' around town in my little red Nissan, savin' gas money and singin' at the top of my lungs with my kiddos, it hasn't phased me a bit.
But imagine what could've happened had I let pride win that day? Well, you might not be able to imagine, but I can. And it ain't purty. Not at all.
Pride goes before destruction...