You’ve heard it before: who you are is not equal to what you do. You’ve been warned about placing your identity in your profession, position, responsibilities, activities. But it’s easier said than done.
It’s gets in the way all the time. It pulls our focus away from God and onto ourselves. Whether we think of ourselves as too high or too low, the root is the same: pride.
When you’ve gone through your task list for the day, or at least accomplished the really essential things, which do you do first: take a deep sigh of relief and think “I feel pretty good about getting all that done,” or do you thank God for giving you the time, focus, and perseverance you needed to accomplish what He planned for the day?
When you’ve confronted someone and waded with them through the muck of tough relationships and situations, which do you do first: claim “I think I handled that pretty well,” or do you thank God for giving you the peace, boldness, respect and discernment you needed, knowing what you said and how you said it couldn’t have come out of your mouth had you not relied on Him?
When you feel depleted, like a failure, unable to reach the completion of anything but having all sorts of fragmented pieces scattered around you, which do you do first: try to take control by organizing and micro-managing anything you can, throw up your hands in surrender and claim you’re a failure, or cry out to God for help then take responsibility for following Him well?
Just because things go well doesn’t mean you get the credit. Just because things don’t go well doesn’t mean you’re to blame. Just because things go well doesn’t mean God is more present and more attentive. Just because things don’t go well doesn’t mean God doesn’t care, isn’t listening, or isn’t invested in your life.
It’s not that simple.
You can’t figure it all out. If you think you can, that’s pride. On the other hand, if you think you’re incapable of anything meaningful, that’s pride, too. Humility isn’t about putting yourself down. It’s about putting yourself in a proper relationship with God, acknowledging and accepting His authority.
God doesn’t define us by our accomplishments. He’s much more interested in our faith.
“When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)