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Pride: Posing and Posturing

Young girl with her face hidden in her hat

 

Last week I spoke about remembering God in all my ways. God reminds us to remember Him throughout His scriptures. Here is a familiar reminder:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)

When I remind myself to acknowledge Him, in essence to see Him in all the details, then I will not so easily drift into seeing Sam in all the details. Thus pride is dammed up, and humility flows from within. C.S. Lewis captures this perfectly:

We must not think pride is something God forbids because he is offended at it, or that humility is something he demands as due to his own dignity—as if God himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about his dignity.

The point is, he wants you to know him: wants to give you himself. And he and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with him you will, in fact, be humble—delightfully humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life.

He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are.

I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself: if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy-dress off—getting rid of the false self, with all its ‘Look at me’ and ‘Aren’t I a good boy?’ and all its posing and posturing. To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert. (excerpt from Mere Christianity)

I hate all the posing and posturing, don’t you? I lived this way for a long time, and the immense relief C.S. Lewis refers to is so joyful and so relaxing. But if I do not continually remind myself that I live in a God-saturated world, I will drift back into a Sam-saturated world, and I will again find myself a slave to Self.

The Holy Spirit through Paul captures this cause and effect in yet another loving warning:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)

Jesus freed me from the power of Self, and thus the power of pride. Yet I find I prefer to keep the presence of Self close by. But this proximity of pride keeps me posing and posturing, and I have little peace, and I have little joy.

If I remember to acknowledge Jesus in all my ways—to see Him in all my details—, I find myself being joyful always, naturally praying continually (on and off all day) and then I can more naturally give thanks—to Jesus, not to Sam—in all circumstances. (1Thes. 5:16-18)

Now this is the life to the full Jesus came for you to have.

You can have it. But you must choose this day to remember what C.S. Lewis said:

He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are.

 

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