Monday, April 11, 2011

#166 - Pride Check

Good morning! I'm back out on my screened in porch! :) Yippee! I'm excited for my "outdoor" quiet times to begin. It's just so nice to hear the birds chirping and feel the outside breeze!

Alright, let's get going...
Proverbs 11:2 - When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.
Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. 
So... I remember in the last few months I noticed all three of our hydrangea bushes had been completely cut down to the ground. No signs of life, and by looking at them they didn't look like they could grow back up in time for me to enjoy them this spring and summer. I was kind of mad. I thought either landscapers were scheduled and came over or our neighbor had come over and cut them. Inside, I was upset. They are so beautiful when they are in bloom, and I was looking forward to them blooming again! I did find out that the landscaper did it..... and, I did find out that they are suppose to be cut back as they were in order for them to grow full again the next season. To my pleasure, the green leaves are rapidly growing and sprouting, and the bush that was nearly to the ground has grown quite rapidly in just a few weeks. I have officially cut the landscaper some slack, and realized that he must know a thing or two more than I do about bushes! Ha!

I didn't get to far past Proverbs 11:2 this morning. The words: "pride, emptiness, shame, humble, pruned, chiseled, and soundness" kept jumping out at me. So many words packed in one verse. So many words that can affect us in a good or bad way depending on what we choose. I started thinking about pride, and how a result of pride is ultimately emptiness and shame. In the Hebrew, pride is also described as arrogance. It's very easy for me to remember very obvious days in my life where arrogance was shining through! I'm sure my parents, sisters and brother can remember it too! Where I was just stubborn with arrogance. I did what I wanted, didn't care who it affected, and really didn't care about what your opinion was about it either! I was defiant! I had no desire to change for anyone, nor did I think I needed to change. I walked with my shoulders held back, my head high, and if you got in my way.... ooooh, you better watch out! Pride & arrogance could have been a description of who I was.

As I was listening to the Holy Spirit on the subject, he told me a few things that made a lot of sense.
All great leaders have been pruned. It is a matter of removing the unnecessary "flesh" & "self." Pruning is not bad, pruning is just getting rid of baggage, pruning is lightening the load. Pruning IS needed for the greatest beauty to be revealed. 
In the past, I would look at the word "pruning" or "chiseled by trial" and think of them as bad things, things I would avoid at all costs.... but, in all reality, they are not bad things. Learning. Being pruned, developed, growing up into someone who will do GREAT & MIGHTY things for the Lord.

Think about this... it says, WITH the humble, the lowly, those who have been pruned & chiseled by trial, renounced SELF, WITH those people is skillful & godly Wisdom AND SOUNDNESS! Ooooh! Lacking soundness of mind, or peace of mind? Maybe that is an opportunity to do a pride-check. Are there areas in our lives where we maybe need to ask ourselves:

  • Is it all about me & MY way? 
  • Am I just not willing to submit my ego? Or am I not willing to submit myself to someone in authority to me? (God, Spouse, Boss, Mentor, Pastor, etc) 
  • Am I pridefully holding on to things that is causing me NOT to walk in soundness of mind, not to walk in peace? 
Walking in humility brings Wisdom & soundness. When we look at the Proverbs 31 woman, we can even see that at SOME point in her life, in her development into this "Ultimate Woman", she too was pruned & chiseled by trial. A result? She opens her mouth in skillful & godly Wisdom! She is a woman of grace & humility. She is well respected among her family, husband & community. 

Pruning isn't bad, it's necessary for growth. I'm sure as spring and summer approach us, I will be happy about the landscaper pruning my bushes back. Pruning off the dead weight of its branches. The Holy Spirit doesn't let me get away with it either! I have recently have had to do pride checks for myself, and lower my pride in a certain areas. Pride was holding back God's best & MY DESIRE is to walk in God's Best & His Favor! 

I encourage you today.... do a Pride Check. Are you holding offense towards someone because of pride? Is there someone in your life that you need to submit your ego too? Let's receive WISDOM & SOUNDNESS together & lower our pride! 

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