Lately I have been frustrated at the pride surrounding me, in both Christians and non-Christians alike. But here’s the thing, I see it not only in many people around me, but often in myself. There are many different versions of pride – it comes in all different shapes and sizes.
Another word for pride is glory. Glory described by the dictionary is “high renown or honor won by noble achievements.” One version of glory is the kind we desire to solidify hard work. Sometimes we perceive glory as the ultimate achievement. This desperation for gratification can quickly become dangerous. We often think that whatever we’re working at will have been worth it if we could just get a taste of glory; but for every taste we get, the desire for more grows greater. Suddenly the only thing that matters is receiving acclamation; but this fulfillment does not have to come from other people, or even ourselves. When we work hard in humility, that alone is gratifying. It is refreshing to not need glory, to work humbly and happily, without need of praise.
Another version of pride is the version that hinders our ability to be wrong. This is more often the version which gets me angered and frustrated. We can become so caught up in self-glory that one, we can’t see when we’re wrong; and two, we can’t let it go and be wrong – even if we are right. At times, it is important to stand firm in an argument; but at times, it is wiser to swallow our pride, shrink our giant heads and keep our thoughts to ourselves. Trust me, I know the feeling of satisfaction of being right, it’s very tempting. But a lot of the time, staying silent is the mature, wise move. Being strong enough to be silent has its own feeling of satisfaction. There’s a balance; sometimes it is appropriate to prove an argument and state an opinion, and sometimes it is not. For example, standing by Christian beliefs or personal standards is a time when it is definitely appropriate; but when there is an argument over something like who caused a dance to lose at a competition, or who wrote a better paper, it is completely inappropriate, even if we think we’re right, or even if we are right.
Sometimes we spend so much of our time chasing glory we don’t recognize the opportunities for a greater reward right in front of us; not always reward as in glory, fame, or popularity, but reward in giving all the glory that is cast upon US to CHRIST! What an INCREDIBLE opportunity! To say, “Lord, STRIP ME OF MY GLORY,” is to gain great reward. One might say, why would I ever desire for someone else to take all of my glory? Because, it was never your glory in the first place – it was always HIS. He designed us with great intention, He made our futures before he made our bodies, and therefore, any glory we receive on earth is owed to our intentional and loving Creator. Giving Him all the glory leaves us with an incredible and rare appreciation of His brilliance. Glory may sound appealing at first, but it destroys what humility creates – relationships, pure joy, faith, and love. I can speak for myself when I say, it is magnificently gratifying to say to Jesus, STRIP ME OF MY GLORY! Isaiah 2:12 says, “The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled).” Is it better to take the glory in this life, and be humbled in heaven, or be humble in this life and gain reward from God for all eternity? Lastly, Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” If we are humble, there is a true, eternal reward waiting for us in heaven; but if we are prideful, nothing but short-lasting rewards and limited satisfaction on this earth awaits us. We need to strip our glory, put on humility, and give it to God.