Devotions

Amy Austin

Amy Pride is a sneaky little companion we all keep around in some form. Merriam-Webster defines pride as, “a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people, a feeling that you are more important or better than other people, or a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.” Here’s the deal, pride can manifest itself in so many ways in our life and not all pride is bad or wrong. It is completely natural to be proud of your child’s achievements, a promotion at work, or a job well done. I believe it’s what we do with the “pats on the back” in our heart that can either lead us down the road of pride gone wrong or towards true humility. So what’s the definition of humility you might ask? Merriam-Webster say humility is “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.”

I learned recently through my own circumstances and by listening to the struggles of others that just when you think you have something figured out, you don’t and you might have just opened the door for pride to come in and have a seat on your couch. As followers of Christ we should never get too comfortable with our so-called spiritual achievements. I’ve been walking this walk of Christianity for a long time so there are areas in my life that I’ve seen great progress. I don’t deal with certain issues like I used to; however, I’ve learned that I can’t let my guard down simply because I’ve experienced some victory. An area of tremendous struggle for me used to be feelings of insecurity. I’ve come a LONG way but I know that I’ll truly never be over this battle until I’m on the other side of this life. Because I fought the battle of insecurity for so long I can easily see the pain of it in the eyes of others. It’s not my place to be the Holy Spirit and point out where their heart might be leading them astray. Of course there are many times we as a people will ask a true friend what do you see in me, and then it’s OK to gently show them in love, the truth of what Jesus says about them. And guess what? I’ve gotten this wrong so many times! And then there’s been many moments of the Holy Spirit working THROUGH me and it’s just the greatest feeling! I don’t want to walk away and think, “Oh good for you Amy, you just helped to change their life.” NO! It’s by the grace of God that He even chooses to use us to encourage HIS people. What an honor it is to be used by the Almighty! I desire to keep my heart in check that I’m giving HIM the honor and glory and not keeping it for myself. And sure, we’re all going to get this backwards…BUT that’s why His mercies are new every morning.

One more area I want to touch on is when we choose false humility. This might shock some of you the way it shocked me when I first learned this, but when we put ourselves down it’s actually not us being humble but us being prideful. The crazy thing is, we can do this all the time without even being aware of it. It’s almost second nature to say negative things about ourselves. I’ll give you a few examples: “I’m so fat, these jeans make my thighs look huge, my hair looks awful, I’m not nearly as smart as everyone else here, I can’t do anything right, nobody likes me or even notices me, etc, etc. This banter might either be going on in your head or you voice all these thoughts out loud. The thing is, all these thoughts/feelings are self focused which means you’re more concerned about how you look or the image you’re giving off and you completely miss out on what’s going on around you. How do I know this? Because that was me for so many years! The girl in the corner sizing herself up to everyone else. It’s exhausting, pointless and prideful. Some of the most amazing Christian women I know are secure in who their Creature made them to be and their purpose in life. It has nothing to do with their outward appearance, the kind of home they keep or their special gifts or talents.

If you find yourself relating to this at all let me give you a couple books I read and applied to my life. One is The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and the other is So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. I truly believe these are MUST READS for every woman. These books will give you tools to help quiet the banter in your mind that is keeping you from entering into true freedom with Christ! The other resource of course is the Bible. You MUST read the Bible in order to know who Jesus is and what He thinks about you. You can’t expect to hear from God if you aren’t in a relationship with Him. Just like I can’t pretend to know what’s going on with a friend I never see if I don’t ever reach out to her. I hope you feel encouraged knowing you aren’t alone in the struggles of this life and there is a way to FREEDOM AND HEALING!

Father I pray you would stir the hearts of anyone reading this today to take action and chase down the truth, healing and freedom You have waiting for them. We confess our pride and ask you would give us hearts filled with true humility and grace. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN!

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

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