When pride steers the ship in our lives it will either veer into the false tranquility of our own abilities or the rough waters of mistreatment in the dawn of our failures.
Do you ever get the sense that you are at peace with yourself only when you have behaved morally upright for an extended period of time? It's easy to do. It's also easy to subtly begin to feel superior to others because you behave yourself so well and they, whoever they are, are always finding themselves in despair because of their own actions. If you feel upstanding and respectable it's because your pride, your trust in yourself, has made you to feel this way.
Here's a contrast to help us see when pride steers the ship in our lives.
Abuse In Our Wrongdoing
How about when you mess up bad? When you've cooked your goose or backed the wrong horse, what happens? If you are in a state of deep, deep shame so much as to be angry at yourself and want to hate yourself then it is also a product of your pride. Your self dependence has failed and you are angry that you could be capable of such failure. Pride again is steering your ship.
What a thought. My peace can be built on the foundation of my pride - even my anger of sin can be built upon my pride. What is a Christian to do?
Hoist Ye Main Sails
We are to be people who are not built on the ever-changing self but on the immovable rock of Jesus' substitute for us. We are to be people who don't take their status based their merits, but on the promises. It's amazing how I can slip into feeling good about myself because I have 'behaved'. When am I ever holy before God by my own credit? When God's word reveals his holiness to me I always am standing before him by grace alone, washed only by his blood.
When I'm angry with myself I am making a mockery of the cross. I am failing to recognize that all of my sin has been dealt with and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and instead acting like it somehow was dependent upon my getting it right. Make no mistake, it is good to feel shame when we sin, but there is a bad form of shame too that comes with belief that we are no longer God's children and that he could never love us because of what we did. That simply is not true and to believe in that is to disbelieve the cross where God paid for all of the sins of the world.
I don't want my course charted by my pride, I want the wind in my sails to be the solid truth of where I stand before God.
Built On The Promises
So stay the course and stay your heart. Don't listen to the lies that tell you how great you are or how terrible. Simply and always know who you are by who has defined you.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Romans 8:1
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Romans 6:6
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3