When Pride Gets In the Way

 

James 5-16

When I decided to walk in obedience to the Lord, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy life.  Little did I know that I’d have to deal with uncomfortable things that soon.

“Sometimes, God will bring us to a place where we are most uncomfortable, a place where obedience requires us to be there no matter how difficult.”

Before I attended that retreat where I got baptized, there were booklets that needed answering.  I was wondering why the thinnest of the booklets gave me so much fear and uneasiness.

The said booklet lists all the areas in life that people commonly struggle with.  From what I remember (because I don’t have the booklet now but I’ll tell you why in a while) the list includes false idols or idolatry, involvement with the occult, believing in false religions and doctrines, forms of addiction, sexual immorality, generational curses, relational dysfunctions, etc.

In each item, I just needed to tick one box, the choices in the respective boxes being only three: not a problem, a struggle in the past, and current struggle.

It was the easiest to answer when I think about it.  So what gives me the sudden fear and dread?  You see, this little booklet will be used at the end of the first day of the retreat for personal counselling.  And showing my list to someone other than God means I am confessing my sins to another human being.

To be honest, I freaked out.  Then I deliberated internally.  Should I downplay or lie about some or should I even answer the booklet?  It was supposed to be just between God and me.  Confession is meant to be that.  So why am I now being made to open up my life to someone I barely even know?

I spent a week struggling over the matter.  In my struggle, I prayed and prayed..and prayed, sometimes even begging God for a way to avoid this because I knew I could never lie about it.  To do that would be defeating the whole purpose of going through my baptism.

The situation didn’t change.  I still needed to go for personal counselling.  Taking a deep breath, I opened the the booklet….and doing that, I also opened my life to someone else.

Guess what?  It was the most liberating experience.  I know I have already been forgiven of my sins long ago.  But letting someone else know about those, it’s like I was freed from pretensions.  I didn’t have to be in hiding.  I didn’t have to fear condemnation.  God gave exactly the right person to handle the truths I have to spill out.  And there was only love, understanding, and compassion that I saw and heard from her.

As I was pouring out my heart, I let go of that one thing that’s getting in the way of making me come out of my shell, that thing called pride.  Pride prevents me from opening up and letting others see that I am very flawed just like every one else.  I didn’t want to look bad.  I was always the people-pleaser and I wanted a squeaky clean image.  I feared condemnation, because in my heart, I was already condemning myself.  I didn’t need the help of anyone else doing that to me.

Stripped of pride, I told her all that there is to know, and there was a lot of crying that came with that.  Both of us were actually crying.

At the end of our counselling session, we prayed… and then she tore up the booklet, a gesture that says all those sins were already forgiven by God and that those no longer hold me in bondage.  I am now indeed enjoying the freedom I have in Christ Jesus.

That is why I do not have it now, and truthfully I am better without that.  When God forgives, He wipes the slate clean.

As I continue in my walk of faith, I know there is someone praying for me.  Now I have someone to be accountable with and not just rely on myself to work things out.

Sometimes, God will bring us to a place where we are most uncomfortable, a place where obedience requires us to be there no matter how difficult.  We can always trust that God has the best in mind for us and He always works with a divine purpose.  My only prayer is that my heart will always be willing to obey, and by God’s grace, it will be so.

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