“The root of insecurity is pride? But insecurity means I believe less of myself—I’ll never measure up, be enough, look the part, do all the right things,” I protested. Of course, my counselor was correct.
Pride is no discriminator of our thoughts, whether too high or too low.
The more we focus on ourselves and how we appear to others, the more selfishness seeps in.
Learning the 2 faces of pride—insecurity and conceit—revealed my secret sin.
The bottom line—my thoughts were too often about me. Guilty of the two sins I detest most, I recognized selfishness and pride are inseparably integrated.
The journey towards self-awareness unlocked greater understanding for healthier relationships, as humility commenced its transformative work.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
Wisdom and humility are inherently intertwined—I cannot acquire wisdom except to the extent that I gain humility.
Humility allowed me to see my pride masked as insecurity, leading to selfishness—one big cover-up. Yuck!
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Prov. 11:2
Like a mirror, humility reveals truth, but we must have open ears and willing hearts, because we have blind spots.
If my sinfulness appears to me in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Graciously, God lavishes His love, healing and wisdom when we ask! (James 1:5) He gently revealed my sin through His Word and wise counsel—cleansing and restoring my soul.
But, I must continue to ask hard questions to remain soft.
But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
I cannot confess what I don’t know. So in humility, I ask Him to reveal hidden sin.
Now, working towards healthier relationships, I can no longer run from conflict or stuff my feelings. It’s painfully difficult, these patterns being deeply ingrained, but I’m slowly learning healthy ways to connect with others.
Some questions I ask myself to stay soft-hearted are:
- Must I always look good, or can I allow some to see my messy side?
- Am I quick to offer solutions instead of listening and affirming?
- Do I correct others regularly when I believe they’re wrong?
- In conflict, is my goal to win or be understood, or can I seek to understand?
- When people have differing opinions, can I listen with the intent to understand or learn something new, or do I shut them down with objections and opinions?
- When others are vulnerable, am I thinking of what to say, or do I listen attentively and affirm their feelings?
- Am I quick to discount other’s emotions or feelings as wrong because they are different from mine?
- Am I always the one offering advice, or do I have a few trusted people with whom I’m vulnerable enough to admit my sin and struggles?
- When people offer constructive criticism, do I immediately make excuses, or can I receive them in a spirit of humility.
- Do I have a growth mindset, seeking to learn from others, even when similar opinions aren’t shared?
- Do I tend to be judgmental or critical, or do I see the value in others, especially those different from me?
We can learn something from everyone, even our enemies.
Being completely transparent, these questions still sting. I have room to grow!
Thankfully, the key is forward progress. And when storms emerge on the horizon, Jesus keeps me safe, taking the oars and rowing when I cannot.
Friend, Jesus won’t allow us to stay where we are. Keep seeking godly wisdom, and find those who will jump in, rowing with you when life gets tough.
The arch enemy of the 21st Century—individualism—is the poison we drink every time we hide our sin and pain, burying our insecurity under polished posts, pretense and perfectionism.
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Prov.16:18
Take some time this week to review these questions, asking Jesus to reveal any hidden sin. Journal what you discover, or talk about it with a trusted friend.
Lean into God’s grace, dear one. Earning God’s love has no place in our growth, thank goodness! He brings all the goodness, beauty and truth to our lives as we stay close! (Eph. 2:8-9)
Join me next week to continue our quest for God’s wisdom in relationships!