It was a humbling week following Chad’s sermon on how Christmas is for the needy, not the proud.
I am okay with acknowledging my need for Jesus on a superficial level: in conversations, on social media, at Community Group… but when I’m actually faced with my limitations practically, my prideful heart reveals itself in ways that wreck me (in the best way).
Amongst many others, here are 3 circumstances that were sanctifying for my soul this week:
- (Lack of) Popularity. After running my first Instagram auction for #FrancisPartyof4 and raising over $2,500 for our adoption (!!!), I managed to feel inadequate and insecure because I could have raised more money and because I lost a few followers after the auction. My pride convinced me that my Instagram popularity defined me, and that comparing myself to social media celebrities and my more likable friends was helpful for my idolatrous heart. (Newsflash: it isn’t.)
- (Lack of) Control. Up until this week I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been frustrated with my 10.5-month-old daughter. But alas, all good times must come to an end, and even well-trained babies go through periods of poor sleep & overall fussiness. M decided this week that naps were cramping her style and that independent playtime was unacceptable, sooooo… there’s that. My pride told me that if I could just control my child, I would be happy. (Newsflash: kids can’t be controlled.)
- (Lack of) Sleep. Unlike the average adult who can function for a few days with less than 8 hours of sleep, I basically turn into a toddler: grumpy, irritable, whiny, and extremely unpleasant to be around. (And I eat too much chocolate.) I don’t even like me when I don’t get enough sleep, and that says a lot. My pride told me that unless I got the rest I thought I needed, the world revolved around me and people (my husband) should just get in line and do as I say. This one was probably the most ironic, because rather than seeing my tiredness as a physical limitation to grow me in my humility and dependence on God, I decided it was an opportunity to flex my pride muscles. Ha!
As someone smart once said, awareness is the first step towards change. My pride may have decided to show its ugly face in various ways this week, but thankfully I became aware of it and was given the opportunity to repent and believe afresh the good news of the cross: that my hope, my peace, and my confidence is found in Christ alone; that the object of my faith is strong enough to hold my faith together when I stray.
“We don’t stop being prideful because a sermon says, ‘Stop being prideful, dummy.’ We stop being prideful when we see that we don’t have to be awesome because Jesus was awesome for us. We stop being prideful when we see Jesus was awesome in our place and invites us to receive his grace.
“Where has pride creeped into your heart where you think you don’t need as much grace now as you did a year ago? If you think you’re awesome, Christmas has nothing to offer you. But if you see your need, Christmas will fill your soul.
“Christmas is for the needy, it’s not for the strong.”
– Chad Francis