Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sadness and Fear vs Pride

"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.' Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning;"

I have heard some people chastise others and have heard others be chastised when there is an expression of fear, doubt, sadness, or anxiety.  They are told that they are being "prideful" thinking that they are more special to be able to have those particular fears, sadness, and those particular anxieties.  In reality that is nowhere near where their hearts actually are.  

They feel weak in their ability to do and be what the Lord wants them to be.  They don't have the faith or exercise the faith to grab hold of what the Lord has told them about who they are, how he sees them, and what they can do through him.  Maybe they have suffered a terrible sadness that has created a hole in their heart that affects their ability to desire the greatest things of the Lord.  Though these are all imperfections I do not believe they are founded in pride.

1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
In looking at the definition above it doesn't seem to match that when you are suffering from sadness, lack of self esteem, fear, or anxiety. In fact it is opposite from pride.  Its the other side of the negative spectrum. 

In pride you seek to pull others down to elevate yourself.  In pride you seek to degrade others to make yourself more special or important.  In pride you see yourself as greater than another.  In pride you will always do harm to those around you.  It is a form of abuse.

In sadness, fear, and anxiety, unless you seek to bring others down to your level, you are not sitting in pride just then.  Pride is wickedness.  It is a sin.  A lot of times fear, anxiety, and sadness are more of a weakness than a conscience choice to go against God.

Let's think how the Lord, being the perfect parent, would see these people.   Let's look at a person broken with sadness who is unable to see past their current brokenness and feel the love and hope of the LordIf the Lord wants to help this person heal he is very unlikely to chastise them and much more likely to show over and over how much he loves them, asking over and over for them to open themselves to him to allow him to come in and heal their hearts.  After they have started the healing process he may show them the affect their sadness had on his work and those around them, but he knows that riding them while they are in their sadness is most likely not going to help them heal and to know their worth to him.  He is so  gentle and so open.  

Now lets take the person bent over in anxiety/fear.  This is usually a chemical, physical, and emotional response to something around them.  It is true that there are tools to gain greater control over your fear and anxiety and the Lord very much desires that healing to happen.  However, unless you use the anxiety to make yourself feel more beat up, more sad, or more than anything compared to another person it is likely not based in pride as defined above.  How would the perfect loving parent see this person drowning in fear and anxiety.  I see him coming in all the quiet moments to reassure this person of their worth and value, and to remind them of all the times he's carried them through and he is still there and still doing it.  He will not seek to add to their fears of worthlessness and anxiety by chastising them for the struggles they are having.  That is very much against who he is.  

Will the Lord take a person IN their weakness and chastise them.  No, he focuses with them on what it takes to pull them out of their weakness.  He will show them how they can change the way they see themselves and use that weakness as a way to come closer to and understand God.  He will show them how they can correct their perspective and use that new understanding as a way to understand, love, and serve those around them better.   

To be prideful is to see yourself as greater than those around you.  Though you feel alone doesn't mean that you've put yourself above.  To be sure it is a separation from God either way and limits his ability to bless and commune with you which stalls his work with you and those he would have you associate with.  However, to use the idea of pride in that way is much more of a shame tactic to chastise and demean than to bless and uplift.  We all have weaknesses.  We all suffer from ideas and emotions that separate us from the Lord.  His desire is to help us heal all those and bring us into his presence of love and blessings. 

In overcoming these weaknesses it is so very important to know that misery loves company.  Also, the opposite is true.  Happiness brings happiness.  In all that you can, seek to fill yourself in ways that bring happiness to you and your life.  You are an individual.  Find your space where you can feel the Lord with you.  Find your space where you can see joy in you.  Find your space where you can see how the Lord uses you to bless those around you.  Work to remember these times often.  When you are stuck in your weakness find times when you are able to recall those memories and work to remember that the if it were true then it is most likely still true (that's FAITH).  Not being able to "feel" the truth of it does not make it untrue.  God is not so easily swayed in his love and devotion to his sons and daughters.  

When you are able to hold onto the truth (even without feeling) you allow the space to stay open for the Lord to continue work in your life.  You cast out doubt because you've seen the Lord's work in the past and you trust that, because of his perfection, he is still there doing his work.  It's far beyond you because in the moment you FEEL completely broken and unable to do or be anything productive.   In the moment you FEEL that you have nothing to give.  Guess what!  That is actually perfect!! The Lord can use that.  You aren't holding anything against him.  You have ZERO pride.  So, the Lord will take that offering and begin his work in you.  It may not be seen for quite a while.  However, here comes the faith, hope, and belief.  You have faith because you've seen his blessings in your life and those around you.  You hope that he will come to you and change you and heal you even though you cannot see or feel it in that moment (no matter how long that moment lasts).  And you believe that he will do it again though you cannot see it because he is not respector of persons and you trust that his love for you is WAY stronger than your mortal weakness.

Ask for his help and healing. He is waiting so very patiently and lovingly.  He has the power if you are willing to give yourself.

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."