I'm Proud of My Pride!
If the root of all evil is pride (self in control rather than God in control), then the path out of evil is humility.
How do we get to humility? Can we just choose to dig up pride? Or is there something else keeping it rooted in the ground?
Is it possible that pride is just a mechanism we use to deal with, cover up, and hide our shame? Is shame really the root of sin?
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord god as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord god among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
This is how early shame shows up. Immediately after eating the forbidden fruit and gaining the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve feel shame for their disobedience and their nakedness. They hide from God.
Shame is fundamental to causing our separateness from God. We try to make up for it with pride, by taking control of ourselves, of other people, by trying to be good, by accomplishment, by success, by measuring our worth based on our relationships, our money, our possessions, or other worldly gauges.
If you are having difficult getting rid of your pride, it is because you are still actively burying your shame. Deep down, you feel not good enough. Or you feel unlovable. Or you feel inadequate, inferior, or less than.
Is this the same as humility? No! Shame is always the result of valuing other peoples’ opinions of you. Humility is the result of valuing God’s – and only God’s - opinion of you.
We come to the Lord, our Father who loves us and wants to show us his mercy, with our shame, our mistakes, our regrets, and we reveal all of our failings and warts to him. We ask for his forgiveness, for his love and acceptance despite our unworthiness. And he gives it to us, freely! He wants to show us his love and mercy! He has been waiting for the opportunity to show us his goodness and kindness. All he needed was for you to ask him for it. He will deliver on his promise.
Now, you no longer care what other people think of your life and your mistakes and your character flaws. You only care what God thinks – and he has already forgiven and forgotten! Rest in the freedom that comes from no longer trying to win the approval of others or of God. He deems you worthy because he made you so. He wants you to be free so that your energy can be spent obeying him and praising him, rather than maintaining your pride and keeping your shame hidden.
It is ultimately a choice: do you want to cover up your shame? Punish yourself, perhaps even to the point of self-destruction, or accept God’s mercy and live for him?