Pride Of Self


Do you ever take time to consider your motives? Do you ever come to that place where you begin to question your own thoughts? What are the reasons why we do the things that we do? How deep does being accepted, recognized and honored run in us?

Yesterday I spent a significant amount of time writing an article that I ended up trashing. I’ve been trashing a number of articles lately. I’m coming to that place where I question why I am doing what I am doing. Why do I favor some forms of service over others? I have an advantage over most of you. I’ll be 74 years old next month. I don’t have a lot of time to waste. That reality does provide some clarity of mind. I also have to deal with the reality of diminishing resources. I don’t have the energy levels I used to have and things that I used to be able to do without even thinking about them, now are becoming more difficult.

Who would have thought that putting on your own socks or getting into a pair of pants without falling would become so difficult. Who would have thought that walking for a considerable distance would cause your body to start hurting. Who would have thought that multi-tasking, something that I used to be able to do so well, now is something to be avoided if at all possible.

I’m spending a lot more time in prayer and studying God’s Word lately. I’m trying to be as real as I possibly can and I’m trying to get as close as I can to God. And God is close. I marvel at His grace and His love. It stops me cold. I’ve read through the entire Bible many times, even more so the New Testament and yet I’m seeing things now that I’ve never seen before. I find it hard to believe. Why did I not see that? How could I possibly have missed that? I don’t have answers.

It’s got nothing to do with faith. I’m way beyond that. It’s about loving God and my relationship with Him. I often use the analogy of an onion and the number of layers it contains. I’m thinking God is getting through to my core. The problem being the onion is so much bigger than I ever thought it was and there are so many many layers.

Forty years in the wilderness. Sounds like a lot of time and it is but how many of us, myself included, have walked in that wilderness? Remember how Moses gave Israel an overview of what had transpired before Israel crossed over the Jordon? Remember how God clarified a lot of things such as why they had been chosen? There’s no room for pride there, none at all. Much to the contrary.

Remember the methods that God utilized in possessing the promised land? How Joshua made major advances and then the little by little followed? Does that ring a bell with you? It surely did with me. When I became a Christian I was full of energy and nothing was impossible. But then life got in the way and the little by little kicked in. Hard lessons had to be learned and desires stripped bare. The layers of the onion began to get peeled away and I began to comprehend that my biggest problem was me.

Our human fallen nature runs deep, very deep. I picked the picture of the apple for a reason. That’s where it all began. That’s where our focus and trust shifted from God to ourselves.

Sometimes it’s almost like I have been given new eyes. Gratitude overwhelms me, the reality of love and the forgiveness that God gives us through faith in the finished work of His Son. Through one man sin entered into the world and through one man, forgiveness and reconciliation. How simple that is but how difficult it is to understand and accept. And then, while I am walking in the wilderness, or entering into the promised land, there are the blessings. Blessings that I never deserved, blessings that should have never been mine. And yet they are there, time and time again.

Pride of self is a terrible thing. It is so contrary to all that God stands for. God alone is good and that is not just a normal good but good as in a Holy good. That far surpasses what you and I call good. Truly look at the cross and the message that is within.

Philippians 2:3-4 NIV  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

“Do nothing”, that’s pretty inclusive. “Selfish ambition or vain conceit”. Imagine the number of “works” that will fall short on that one.

There are many things that I still don’t understand. There are many questions that I still have that are unanswered. But God, our gracious God, has given all of us, more than enough, to draw close to Him and to learn of Him and His ways and His thoughts.

Some day we shall all stand before Jesus and our life will be reviewed. That will be Him and that will be us. One on one. Our words, our thoughts, our motives, our works will all be reviewed. It will be too late to get real then. Get real now.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!




  1. On the other hand…shouldn’t we take pride in the work we do and do it to the best we can with Gods help. I don’t think our God is pleased with shotty work.


      • I agree He is the reason we can do what we do. When I make greeting cards I hope they ‘make someones day” a brighter day. I only want to put my name on it if I am “proud “of the art work. If I just slap something together it isn’t putting my talent ,such as it is, to his glory. Art work may seem not too important in the over all picture but that is where I find myself at the moment. Hopefully in His will for me.

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  2. Ah, motives … Just when we think we’ve almost arrived, comes the question, “yes, but WHY did you do it?” We can never really be sure, and as C. S. Lewis said, when we think we have finally succeeded in achieving humility, suddenly we are proud of our humility! :/
    (Thank God for grace!)

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  3. Perhaps, after all; pride is not the reason you’re trashing your articles. Maybe God just wants you to dig more deeply through the onion layers, sharing with us, the wisdom He’s given to you. Perhaps he has already peeled off pride, but the devil is lying to you and trying to hold you back from sharing anything at all. What a deceiver he is! Just maybe, God is saying “Bite in!” even though you may shed some tears… because that is what will keep your writing real. May God bless you to your core, as you figure out how to take your writing to an even deeper level, all in the name of Jesus! 🙏🏼

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    • Hi Angela, glad to see you back! What you suggest is possible but I usually have an inner witness to the content I’m talking about and when it isn’t there I have a tendency to back off. Hard to say, I don’t trash many. Really appreciate your thoughts and your taking the time to share them. Grace and blessings to you and yours!

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      • Thanks, Bruce! I just wanted you to know that with age comes wisdom, with plenty more to offer. Unfortunately much of our youth today doesn’t believe in that; they believe they must experience everything themselves which can cause them deep devastation. How I wish I’d had a well of wisdom from which to draw when I was young! I did receive some sweet nuggets of wisdom from my grandma even though she lived far away. I just now got inspired to write a blog post about her! 😊Thank you! I just wanted to encourage you because I have many posts I haven’t finished and sometimes I find that it’s not because they aren’t worth sharing, but rather they needed refining, more time, and more wisdom. By the time I complete them, I find that they are finished at just the right time… God’s time! But I know what you mean; after letting our writing sit for a while, we can revisit it. Then, sometimes we see that we need to take ourselves out of the message, and add much more of Jesus; and then it becomes sweetly perfect! If you wrote more about pride, I think it would help a lot of people. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are being prideful… but God knows when we are! Even if you occasionally trash some of your writings, just be encouraged to give it another go, for you are making a big difference in God’s Kingdom, and you have encouraged me as well! Blessings to you and your family, in Jesus’ name! And may God bless your mind, hands, and heart; as you continue write about Jesus! ✝️

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