Monday, May 23, 2011

Pride with a capital and bold P

**Spoiler alert: I'm about to really put myself down here but bear with me. This message isn't me asking for some comforting words from friends.. in fact that would probably feed my pride :)

 Sometimes, like most women, I feel pretty down about myself. I sometimes feel ugly, or fat, or not dressed right. I often look in the mirror and critique everything I see. It doesn't matter how beautiful someone tells me I am, I still see flaws in myself. I realize that most women if not all have this problem. I don't see my situation necessarily as unique, but I do think I struggle with this a little more than anyone would realize. It gets to the point where I often let it rule my life and I try and try to meet the world's and my own standard for beauty. I'm not saying it's right obviously, but it's how I feel.

I could easily start running or eating better.... or both. I could save up money and go to the best stores and buy the latest fashions. I could even go and get my hair done more regularly so it styled better. But would I really be happy? I've been skinny before. Back in high school I went through this weird phase where I was starving all the time, yet hardly had to eat a bite to get full. It was AWESOME to say the least. But even then I wasn't happy. My hair still didn't do what I wanted, and my clothes were still cheap. I've bought nice adorable clothes, but my body just didn't fit right into them and my hair still didn't do what I wanted. And I've also had super cute haircuts that styled perfectly with barely any effort, buy those nice haircuts often showed off my unattractive clothes or not so perfect body. Don't get me wrong, I've had lots of days where I've felt beautiful! There were days when I just wore a t-shirt and shorts and felt like I was having the best hair day EVER and was happy with that. But all too often I'm not happy with anything. That's the problem. Everything could be right, and yet all I see are the mistakes.

I've always chalked this up to insecurity or envy. But pride? No, pride is when you think very highly of yourself... right? Trust me I know pride. I look at others and think, "Wow, I'm better than so and so." or "Why did they decide to do that with their life? So glad I didn't go down that road!" Now that's pride!

But maybe, just maybe, pride isn't solely about thinking highly of one's self, but just thinking solely about one's self all together? Even though I tend to think pretty lowly of myself, I am extremely prideful. Now wait just one darn minute! I thought thinking lowly of your self was being humble? Isn't humility all about seeing yourself as not as important as others? "Errrrr...." goes the buzzer, wrong again!

 As I've been learning in the last few weeks pride isn't just about having an inflated view of myself. It could be a very Deflated view of myself! But either way it's about Me, Me, Me! How does this affect me? Is it hurting or helping me? Man, I look horrible, man I wish I was this, man I wish I could change this about Myself.  Me, Me, Me.

Another issue I never dreamed was pride, is my shyness. Now I'm not saying that being shy is pride! But with me, being shy makes me dwell on it all the time! It rules my life! I don't want to go hang out with people I don't know because I may make a fool out of myself by sitting there silently the whole night. Who wants to hang out with someone like that!? Once again its become all about me. What happens if someone talks to me? What happens if someone doesn't like me? Me, Me, Me.

And the worst part of all? My devotions have become all about me. What will I get out of this today? How will this affect my life? You know it's coming, Me, Me, Me... I'm tired of looking at it that way. I'm tired of looking at life this way! Instead of wondering what I'm going to get out of my devotions and how they'll benefit me, I should be seeking God and looking for His attributes. As my pastor says, "The Bible is not a self help book. That creates an "All about me" attitude. It shows who God is, through it we can know Him personally."  It's about His fame, not mine. God wants us to be humble. Humility is about not thinking about yourself at all. It's not about putting yourself down and putting others on a pedestal. Even that tends to end up being pride. I'm done with thinking all about me, no matter how high or how low. All that matters is God! And you know, that's not me thinking lowly of myself again, but me finally not thinking about myself at all! Aw the comfort of freedom!

I'm ready Lord to brake these chains of sin! Help me to stop looking at myself and wondering what I can do to make myself better, but to start looking at you and wondering how I can show you off. Not my fame, but yours.

With love,
Abbey

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