It's Not Me, It's YOU!

               Pride. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “  inordinate self-esteem” and “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.” It’s one thing to be proud of something and another thing to be a prideful person.  God does not delight in a prideful person.  I’m proud to be a Christian.  I’m prideful when I feel that the successes that have come my way are because of my own doing.  See God is not in the ways of a prideful person. 

                I have let pride crowd my mind in certain situations.  Especially while in college my sophomore year I joined all these student organizations and held various leadership roles on campus.  I initially did this because I was thinking long-term.  I knew that when I started to apply for internships companies wanted to see that I was a well-rounded student. 
Not just making good grades but heavily involved in extra-curricular activities.  Most importantly, I also knew during my senior year as I would apply to jobs companies wanted to see that I held leadership roles, volunteer positions, and internships in addition to being on the Dean’s List.  I wanted success and I wanted it bad.  So as my resume continued to grow so did my pride.  I thought look at me grinding getting opportunity after opportunity.  I’m doing it big out here in Atlanta! See that family member, church member and everyone else who was waiting on the edge of their seat for me to fail. Look who’s laughing now!  It was ridiculous I began to think in my twisted little mind that somehow it was me who had gotten myself this far in life.  Maybe because I stayed countless hours in the tutor center to make sure I ended up with a good grade in my challenging upper-level economics courses.  Maybe because I spent several days my winter breaks searching online for summer internship after internship.  Sending out application after application.  Maybe it was because I never had anyone reach out a helping hand to me forcing me to pull myself up by my own bootstraps.  In my my it was all me!  It wasn’t you!  You never wanted me to make it this far but I did!  I was the one working to attain this goal of success and once I made it I would be ready for that day when I would give a speech where I would thank none of those people because they didn’t help me make it to where I am today. I wanted to build myself up because no one else was.  No one was in my corner it was me against the world or so I thought.

                What I sadly failed to realize was that none of the good fortune that came my way was because of my own merit.  Although others may have been against me the person that mattered the most was for was me.  Who was that person? It was God. Romans 8:31 says, “….If God is for us, who can be against us?”  God was for me and although others were against me it didn’t matter.  What I finally did realize is that it was only because of God that I made it to where I am today.  Every opportunity and everything listed on my resume was not because of me. It was because of God.  I didn’t deserve anything but God gave it to me anyway. I must always remember that.  Once I realized I struggled with pride I asked God to please rip every ounce of pride out of my heart.  And be careful what you ask for because you will receive it.  Little by little God began to do certain things that tore down my ego.  For all the organizations that I was a part of if you’ve served in a certain leadership role you can receive an honor cord or stole to wear at graduation. And you bet that I couldn’t wait to santer across that stage in my graduation regalia! Flaunting to everyone how awesome I had been throughout my four years at this institution.  Look at what I’ve done and accomplished. I was about to look a rainbow mess on that stage wearing cords/stoles of every color representing each organization I had been a part of. I couldn’t wait! But then God was like not so fast. Then BAM! A staff member over student life said that they were changing the rules to where if you weren’t part of a honor society you cannot wear a cord or a stole at graduation.  I was so mad because I was only a part of one honor society. So that mean’t I could only wear one cord? Am I being punked? Then It popped into my head that all these cords/stoles were going to do was bring me back to where I started.  High-minded and puff chested. So I just had to say okay Lord I see what you’re doing and I will obey.

                Another heavy blow to my ego was during summer 2012 when I decided to answer God’s call to start a Pinky Promise chapter on my campus.  I was so excited that God wanted to use me to bring this organization to my college.  And then the devil started sneaking in and I started thinking oh man this means I started a student organization! Do you know how major that is? Do you know how good it’s going to look on your resume that you founded an organization on your campus?  Then I was on the Pinky Promise website about to start watching the orientation video for starting a Pinky Promise Chapter.  And the founder of the movement was answering questions live from those tuning in to the video.  And one girl was like what is the responsibility of the leaders of a Pinky Promise group.  And the founder was like that’s the thing there is no such thing as leaders of a Pinky Promise group.  Anyone apart of Pinky Promise is just called a Pinky Promise Rep. And I was like dang Lord another arrow straight to the heart. 

                See you’re going to get tested once you make your mind up to do something that glorifies God.  You have the choice to be obedient or disobedient.  When several other students found out about the new rules on cords/stoles they were saying how they were just going to buy them anyway and then hide them and pull them out of their gown right before they walked on stage.  Although I was tempted to do that as well I chose not to.  I also could have easily listed on my resume that I started a Pinky Promise chapter.  Why did I have to listen to this lady?  But I did. When you obey others you are obeying God. In fact to this day I do not have that I started a Pinky Promise group on my campus listed on my resume.  I’m not saying that if you started some Christian group on your campus or founded a ministry that you shouldn’t put it on your resume because that’s between you and God.  What I’m saying is I didn’t want credit for starting that group.  I just wanted God to get every piece of glory from that and not my flesh.  I did nothing accept obey God when He decided to use me to bring that group to my campus.  That’s it!  We have to learn that it’s not about you it’s about God. All things in your life should point back to God.  You must decrease and God must increase. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  I’ve said all this to say when good things comes your way – yes you may have put in a lot of work to get where you are today but understand that if God did not open the door and allow you to receive the honors, accolades, and awards your have today understand that you would not have them!  Consider Job for example he had it going on and he didn’t let pride creep into his heart. Scripture says in Job 2:3, “Then the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him he is blamessless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil and he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

What Now?
1.) Ask God to show you the areas in your life where you may be prideful.
2.) Ask God to rip every ounce of pride from your heart and to help you recognize when you are becoming prideful.
3.) Make a conscious effort to stop taking credit for what God has done in your life.

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© Miss TierraneyMaira Gall