Pride

Today’s scripture comes from a Bethel Church music video, that I had playing this evening.”Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

On Sunday, I wrote about my challenge with Faith, today, I continue on the main topic and focus on PRIDE. Through the first have of my Christian journey when I reflect, I think there’s someone who understands what it means to be humble. Today, I want to be that person…it’s extremely difficult to be what I once was.

In the past when someone gave me a compliment or a bit of praise on something I had done, I would say thanks and think nothing more of it. When I get that same type of praise today, it’s extremely hard for me not to make another comment to add to it, and I don’t know where that came from or why I find that I need to do it, why I find that I need to build myself up.

The thought crosses my mind that perhaps it’s because I’m putting myself into positions that subconsciously I don’t feel that I have any business being in. There are two aspects of my life, oddly which don’t involve me being a parent, where I feel this way.

Work

“Fake it ’til you make it” well that about sums up my life as an employee right now. I’ve gone from a security officer to this hodge podge of parts multimedia designer, photographer, videographer, technical go to, security specialist and social media analys, all within the past year, with more and more emphasis being placed on the first piece. It is odd to look back at what I received my degree in (Communications – Video/Film) and the plans I had for the future then, thinking well the path I’m on has me not using this anytime soon. Now, six years later, suddenly it’s no longer hidden in my back pocket, but thrust to the top of the freshly written job description that is pending. Fake it ’til you make it seems to have taken over as I’m doing things that I don’t feel anywhere qualified to be doing. I mean I work for the University of Michigan, me, as a security officer, you made things up on the fly using policy to guide your decisions and actions, now, I’m creating safety content for one of the top ranked Universities in the world. Wow. Is it natural, that because of the position that I’m transitioning to that the overwhelming feelings that I suppress manifest themselves in the outward, prideful bragging when someone makes a positive remark or statement that is meant to build me up? Let’s explore another example.

Church

Just six months ago, I was the “second man” on the technical team, riding easy, not a lot to think about, some projects here and there, but it was relatively stress free. Fast forward to the present and I’ve been placed in a leadership role overseeing two different areas: Technical Arts and Information Technology. While at the moment the majority of the stress comes simply from the staffing of positions on a weekly basis with volunteers, but nothing too horrible. But when I look at those around me, I sometimes get the feeling that I’m just faking it. That I’m doing my best to make the right decision on the fly. I’ve been working to get a server up and running for a few months now, granted there have been a large amount of roadblocks that I have no control over. But when I bring up the idea to a couple of others, it is usually met with that sounds fun and pretty easy and I’m sitting there thinking, fun…maybe, easy….I wish it was for me, do I even belong in this position. Then i recieve building praise for the job and the work that I’m doing and get the thought of I am doing a good job and become prideful rather than humble. Often giving a response that take the praise up an notch and makes it come from me as well.

I’m fully aware that God puts us into the situations where we have no option to fail and that those situations only strengthen our reliance on Him. The question I pose is how do you rely on God to provide and when the stars align and you get the jobs done well, and receive praise how do I go back to being humble when that praise feels so good and at the same time soaking in the praise only goes to reduce the reliance on God and make me feel as though I did it rather than God doing it through me? Why does that piece of me that I once had in check come out? Does it correlate to my inner struggles with my faith and lack of discipline for not giving glory where it is due to the one King?

Miracles happen when you fix your eyes on Jesus. Lord, help me to fix my eyes upon you, to lift up your name when I feel prideful or receive praises for the gifts that you’ve given to me, thank you for working in my heart and for bringing light to the darkest places and allowing for me to overcome my struggles; continue to help me surrender to you and to place my faith in you for everything.

I pray for my wife this evening Lord, the struggles that she’s been dealing with: finances for her trip to North Carolina and her grandmother’s memorial service and the headaches that have come with it. Thank you for helping them find a way to get there and that the details have come together with your guidance.  Watch over them as they travel, keep them safe from harm.

Lord, bless our volunteers at Radiant Church. The sacrifices made by so many on a weekly basis are exhausting and I honestly don’t know how some of them continue to do it, week after week. Be the breath that fills them with new life and restores their desire to praise you.

Blessings be upon my mother, she is such a blessing in all areas of my life and I never truly show how much I appreciate all of the assistance she provides to me and each of my brothers. May she have peace as she prepares for Jacob and Bailey’s wedding and know that all things will work through You.

Lord be with the leadership of this country and the people as we begin the increasingly volatile approach to the November elections. May you place your hand on the individual elected and guide the decisions that are to be made in the direction that this country is to go.

Help us all to be as humble as Christ was, in all that we do. Amen.

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