Sometimes we will encounter different situations that cause us to react according to the way we feel in that instance. When someone offends you, your first initial reaction would be to defend yourself and fight back. But have you considered whether the person was joking around? This is where you need to put your discerning cap on. It is crucial to ensure that you are not walking around in bitterness or pride. We are all limited resources and there is so much we can do for ourselves and those around us.
When I greeted a friend recently, she walked past me although she responded, but without stopping to look at me and say hello. I didn’t get offended by it because I realised that we all have our own battles to face. Little incidents such as comments on how your body looks, gossiping about people to your friends, taking offence when people don’t invite you out is simply not necessary for you to throw a pride-party or get into a defence mode.
For every action, there does not need to be a reaction, else you will be giving the enemy satisfaction.
There are some things that God would not want you to worry about, especially offences. Offences today is leading so many of us to be anti-social, bitter, proud and selfish. Pastor Alex Adams speaks about the importance of love and how we should go beyond the first level of loving those around us, but striving for the second level which is to love your enemies and do good to them. Honestly, it will not be easy, but love is a powerful tool that encourages a healthy mindset of peace. If you love only those that love you, what is its true purpose? Yes, from a worldly perspective we choose who we love, especially those who we feel have made us happy, but those who have caused us pain, we hate, backbite, and put them down. As a believer, do you think this is necessary? Remember we are all human, and whether you are a believer or not, we still have a responsibility to show love and RESPECT even to those that spitefully hurt or use us.
I do believe, however, there is a strong level of discipline when showing our enemies love but from a distance. I recently spoke to a friend about the importance of love and how Jesus is the true definition of love. Why do I say that? I say this because when the Pharisees was contemplating about stoning a woman to death regarding her affair with another man (John 8), Jesus challenged them by saying that if anyone has not sinned let them cast the first stone. The Pharisees wanted to see if Jesus would stone the woman, but thankfully His Mercy saved her. Jesus does not have any pride in Him, and neither should we. He knew His position with the Pharisees and didn’t speak negatively about them. This is a new level of love that if we are to see real change in our lives, we must learn to adjust our lens to the way we see people and love them.
Jesus loves each and every one of us and is not a respecter of persons. A proud person may not realise that it is embedded in them until they are able to see where they have gone wrong and be willing to be open about the issue. When I feel in my heart that I go astray, I apologise to the person I’ve offended ensuring that no bitterness or pride raises its ugly head. Every battle you face starts in your mind. You will know when pride gets the best of you; sometimes, it is invisible in that you cannot see how bitter you are until someone truthfully tells you. You have to be willing to hear the truth from your loved ones as it will set you free (John 8:32). However, you have to be open-minded. Remember Jesus did not need to raise an argument to fight the Pharisees; all He had to do was speak in parables and give examples to keep his critics quiet, and that is the best way to kill ones’ pride.
There will be instances, or should I say patterns of people who are guaranteed to walk out of your life, and you must learn to love them when they come and love them when they go. Life is too precious surrounding yourself with people who drain you and never see the best in you. In your own season right now, remember God will shake things up, and if that includes taking people out of your life for your own good, it will happen. The Father does not want any of us to be surrounded or influenced by pride or negativity. It is very unattractive to be seen as someone who has too much attitude. As queens of the Most High, we must be the few lights that stand out in this world, to comfort, encourage, empower and protect our sisters who are filled with so much pride that they forget who they are and eventually end up doing something foolish. Pride is an enemy of PROGRESS!
Our world today needs love, comfort and compassion, but it starts with YOU. So today, make a decision to check your heart; see where you have gone wrong and make amends. You know yourself more than anybody else. See what you can do to get rid of your ‘I I I’ mentality and invest quality time with your sisters to bring out the best in them. Remember it is not always about you, but think about your neighbour. Do you know if they are going through a hard time? If they are, make the most of it by asking, when they are confident enough to inform you, that is the starting point to prevent pride from occurring. Do not boast about tomorrow, for no-one knows what tomorrow will bring. Do not flaunt what you have in front of your friends, you don’t know what could happen in the next second. Learn to humble yourself and be content with everything you have. Be HUMBLE and blessings will find you.
Nonetheless, in order to help your sisters in need, you must learn to fix your own mess, and be willing to open up and be honest and sincere about it. No matter what you have done, do not allow the pride you cannot see to prevent you from being free. When you have pride it stops you from receiving blessings, because the Father cannot bless a boastful heart. He can only bless a heart that He sees is honest and knows where they’ve gone wrong. David in the Bible had that character of honesty, generosity and humility. When he committed adultery and murder, he was aware that he did wrong, and decided to confess everything to the Father, and that is where he received freedom. Psalm 51 talks about how David asked the Father to create in him a clean heart. He did not allow his faults (pride) to get the best of him but willing to open up and apologise for the Lord to have Mercy on him. How many of us today can honestly say in our hearts that we apologise for the things we have committed in the past or present? Whether it is to family, friends, loved ones and even ourselves; when are we going to let pride die in our lives and stop it being a slave to it?
Pride should not allow you to make decisions ladies, you have the POWER to control the level of pride that comes your way. God will give us so many opportunities where we can be true blessings to people around us. A classic example is where a friend tells you they are struggling to complete an assignment. You know you have what it takes to help your friend, and refuse to give the friend support; that is pride. Pride prevents you from being caring and generous because pride is all about you. Do not live a life revolving around you, you will end up lonely and bitter. Learn to adjust and adapt to different cultures. This is what is missing in our world today because cultural variety is beautiful. We must always have hope in everyone and see the best in them. That way pride is buried and freedom begin.
To conclude, there are two types of pride: positive pride and negative pride.
Positive Pride – A pleasant exhilarating emotion that results from a positive self-evaluation
Negative Pride – Refers to an inflated sense of one’s personal status or accomplishments
You make the decision.
FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE, BUT THE GREATEST ONE IS ‘LOVE’.
Do not let negative pride get the best of you. You are too expensive for that!