Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pride & Priority

What do you know to be true in your life? What drives you to make decisions in life? Is it pride or is it priority? 

We all talk about the priorities of our life and how they drive our schedules and dictate our timetables. They tell us when to sit and when to stand, when to go and when to come. One could say that priorities are the driving force in every decision we make. I think this is an accurate statement, but there is a greater force behind each decision we make, and it’s called pride. In some ways, pride enters every decision we make, and whether we like it or not, pride wins more times than we care to admit.

We are all so busy and there seems to be no time left for God. There is no time left for the things in life that really make a difference. There is no time to say, I love you, no time to give a hug, no time to lend a helping hand, and no time to ask a friend if they need to talk about something.

Do we really have that much going on in our lives? If we say God is in control, then why do we have so much to do? Why is our schedule so jam-packed with to do things? One answer may be pride!

I met a lady a few years ago who had seven adopted children, all with special needs. I asked myself, how does she do that? How does she take care of all those children plus come to the lake for a day of fun? I believe she was just proud to be a mom. Her pride was in her children and in doing what, as she said, “God called her to do.” Lisa and I had all we could handle with two healthy girls. I believe this lady’s pride was in the right place. That’s just me looking from the outside in. Things are not always what they seem when it comes to pride.

Pride is masked easily; it can be covered quickly with a word, and it can be made invisible to everyone on the outside by counter actions of fill-ins. That’s when we feel guilty about our behavior, and instead of calling it pride, we mask it by filling our schedule with good works to justify our former actions. You are the only one who truly knows the truth and the motive behind every choice you make. Is it a priority or is it pride that makes you decide what choice to make?

We do a great deal of things in the name of Jesus just because of pride. When God is using us mightily, the test is always there to see where our pride lies. The moment we step in front of God and elevate ourselves above Him, we find ourselves back where we started and must start all over again. That is pride. You should be proud of the place you hold in the kingdom and the way God has brought you through trials, but be careful in bringing the priority of pride with you.

What role does priority play when it comes to pride? You tell me! Is it a priority that your place in the community is noticed? Is it a priority that you hide who you really are from others? Is it a priority that people only see the Jesus side of you? We spend a great deal of time and energy building ourselves up to who we think we are and who God expects us to be.

How do you place pride in your life? What priority do you give it? It is your decision. You are the only one in control of your pride. To sum this up, it’s a battle. We all battle priority and pride. The goal is to have pride and priority live together in harmony. While pride is always seeking to elevate self and dictate the priority we place in any circumstance, our goal should be to seek the kingdom of God first.

Pride grows from a lack of setting God’s priorities in our lives. When you want something, pride steps in and has an influence on your decision. An example of that is when you worry about what others will think. If you are overly concerned with the opinion of others, then pride is standing at the door and already has an influence on your decision. Am I saying we should never care what others think? Not at all. Kingdom thinking requires us to ask what God thinks first.

Remember that pride is controlling and seeks self-centered attention, while priority requires you to weigh the significance of an action to find its rightful place in the mix of life’s schedule.

The outlook for priority is to seek first the kingdom of God. When we put God first, pride will play a smaller role in our lives.

Still Running

Still Running I recently turn sixty-two. There is something about getting older that makes you think about your life. Some days, I wake up...