Pride is like that unwanted guest in your spiritual garden. Pride was never something I considered myself to struggle with. What I did not realize is that many of the things I did consider were stemming from pride. That is the sneaky thing about pride; it often goes unnoticed when it first invades. We can so easily detect it in others, but it is often disguised within ourselves. You might catch a glimpse of it and cut it out in that moment not realizing that the roots are still there. There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible referencing pride. What we do know from scripture is that God hates pride! Lucifer was filled with pride, and it caused him to spend eternity in hell. I often hear adults and elders speak of the younger generation as prideful. A young person’s pride seems to be more noticeable because their garden is still maturing. Their spiritual garden has not developed so that their growth might hide that new stemming trespasser, Pride. However, if we are not careful as we grow, we can forget to weed through our spiritual garden and dig out any unwanted guest. Our growth can cover those invaders for so long that by the time it is noticeable the roots have grown so deep that we have to dig out not only the soil around that invader but also the soil around all the mature growth we have developed over time because now the root of pride has invaded all these other areas of our garden. We have allowed ourselves to neglect weeding through our garden because our “mature growth” has made us look good on the surface while covering what is lurking beneath the foliage.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions to see if we need to do some digging:
- Have I ever felt like I deserved something more than someone else?
- Have I ever felt like I deserved something based off of my performance?
- The more I have invested in my church have I ever felt like I should have more say than someone newly invested?
- Do I look for validation from those around me rather than God?
- Have I ever looked for validation through my post on social media?
- Have I ever posted something on social media hoping to draw attention to myself?
- Do I compare what I have to what others have?
- Do ever look at someone younger than myself and think about all I could teach them, or do I consider what I could learn from them?
- Have I ever been ashamed of something I possessed when comparing it to someone else’s possessions?
- When someone brings up something someone has done well, have I ever felt the need to point out something I have done?
- Do I often feel the need to express my opinion?
- Do I feel like I own something simply because I often use it and begin to feel deserving of it over someone else? (A seat in church, a room or office in a common area, a parking spot, etc.)
- Do I feel deserving of help because I offered my help to someone in their time of need?
- Do I hold grudges?
Well guess what? If you do not like your answers to these questions you need to do some digging! Pride is at the root! We need to weed through our spiritual garden and clean it out! Pride makes us point out others’ flaws. Pride is like driving by someone else’s home and pointing out all the weeds in their landscaping while ours is being invaded with weeds back at home. Pride makes us look at others’ flaws while ignoring our own. Anything that stems from the root of pride is evil. Manipulation, deception, comparison, lies, intimidation, inferiority, all stem from the root of pride. We must dig it out.
How do we dig out unwanted weeds from our spiritual garden?
- Dig it out from the roots: Repent of any areas you know of that you have seen pride invade. Ask God to reveal any areas in your heart where pride is at the root.
- Plant Humility: Humble yourself (the opposite of pride) by acknowledging that all good things come from God and all glory belongs to Him.
Remind yourself that there is NOTHING you could ever do that would count you deserving of the grace and mercy given to you through the love of Jesus. Remember that we all deserve death because of sin, but because of the Love of God, He came down from heaven wrapped Himself in flesh and took our death sentence. He stood in our place!
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble,’” (James 4.6 ESV).
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23 KJV).
- Make time for prayer every day. Things can take root overnight.
- Anytime we find ourselves noticing others flaws we should make sure we have weeded through our spiritual garden first.
Have you weeded through your spiritual garden lately?