I require the grace and forgiveness of other people. I don’t really tend to believe that. What I tend to believe is that all things considered, I’m easy to get along with and an honor to be around. And if someone doesn’t agree I just tell em, kick rocks… In my mind. Ha. I haven’t often struggled with people-pleasing because I genuinely don’t give a dump what most other people think. The sin in that is that I let my own opinion and self assessments weigh more than what God knows to be true about me. My self-awareness, sense of efficacy, and general enjoyment of my own company are strengths, but spiritually-speaking often manifest as weaknesses. I am reluctant to admit my need for help from the people that are close to me; I sometimes decide I don’t need community that much, or at all; I still slip into seeing God as a start-up investor and just want the capital to get going on my really awesome venture.
As aforementioned, I have recently been more directly confronted with the reality of my pride, and have come to the realization that I have been a recovering bitch for the bulk of my life. I racked my brain for another word to use, but I don’t think one exists with the same contextual weight and concise connotation. We all know what that means. Maybe someone comes to mind.
In thinking about the perfectionism that grips me as an artifact of childhood, I realized that the times I did ‘get in trouble’ – at home or in middle school – were basically a result of me being disrespectful, flippant, or catty in that certain kind of way. I remember getting kicked out of my middle school spanish class one day… my teacher called my dad who was pretty perturbed. Internally, I was primarily amused. The gift God has given me of wielding words has sometimes served to make me feel more powerful than those who aren’t quick witted in quite the same way.
This is honestly my testimony – being rescued from my sinister inclination to make other people feel small with my language, or by spitefully and intentionally withholding my approval, or making snide comments in the areas of others’ insecurities. God is faithfully, patiently eradicating meanness, pride, and (ironically) self- righteousness in me. It feels odd to even claim eradication because I honestly have no hope of having it entirely erased ‘this side of eternity’, as they say. Scripture even warns us not to be wise in our own eyes; and to be careful when we think we stand, lest we suddenly stumble.
But there is the hope of having my spirit renewed day by day; of having God transform me into a new woman by changing the way I think. There is the hope of continual graduation – from glory to glory with unveiled face. Amen.
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