I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! What I was reading on one of the blogs I follow seemed so out of place, that I couldn’t believe it was true. An on-line ministry that was committed to holding women accountable in their daily time in the Bible was imploding from the inside out. As I continued to read the accusations that were being made between the founder and the dear friend and sister she had brought along side to expand the ministry, my disbelief turned to grief and then, dare I say, righteous indignation. How could these women do this to each other, their common ministry and the cause of Christ? Because I was more fascinated by the unfolding drama than I probably should have been, I proceeded to read the hundreds of comments also posted on the blog. What I read literally made me sick to my stomach. Women taking sides, making inappropriate comments, questioning the Christian faith…saying that Christian women were no different than other women, etc…
I have followed this blog for a couple of years and I believe I know the heart behind it. How could it come to this – something so ugly and hateful? As I prayerfully considered this, one word came to my mind – pride. Because pride is something every person struggles with to one degree or another, Scripture has a lot to say about it. In fact, Proverbs alone mentions the following truths about pride and its effects:
- When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Prov 11:2
- Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Prov 13:10
- A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. Prov 14:3
- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov 16:8
As I continued to reflect on this situation, I came to the following conclusions:
- We are all prone to pride, it is part of the human condition.
- None of us are beyond the opportunity to stumble and fall now and then. No matter how many followers you have on social media, there is no magic number where you become suddenly immune to the effects of pride.
- The larger your platform, the more opportunity you have to influence others, both positively and negatively. That’s why it is so important to regularly and carefully examine your heart and the motives therein.
I sensed the Holy Spirit asking me to take the focus off of the drama being played out on this well-known blog and look to see where pride needed to be uprooted in my own life. It is easy to see the pride in other’s lives, but to be forced to deal with it in your own, now that’s going a little too far (-smile-).
In response, I wrote this prayer:
Gracious Father, my heart is broken over the division I see on this blog. I pray reconciliation and Your peace and truth over all parties involved. Lord, yesterday, I was struggling with pride over an area in the ministry you have called me to. I wanted it to be known that it was my idea!! When I see how destructive pride can be to individuals, ministries and those who follow them, it makes me want to beg You to strip me of all of my pride. When I say, “strip me of pride”, I know that it will be painful. To remove something so deeply engrained in our flesh doesn’t come without pain. Yet the secret pain that comes from getting over myself is preferable to the public pain that is bound to happen if my pride is not dealt with. Remove my pride Lord. Your name (not my own) and Your renown are the desires of my heart (Is. 26:8). May I be able to say that in all humility and honesty. It matters not whose earthly name is attached to an idea or decision, as long as it is Jesus Christ Who gets the credit and is exalted. In Your Name and for Your sake, Amen
The prayer I prayed over myself is the same prayer I pray for you, dear friend. Don’t let pride take root and take you out of His service.
Your Friend in Ministry,