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Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Stinkin' I in Pride!

Please welcome our Guest Barista, Alisa Hope today!

A while back I was reading a book about God's grace, and I had to be honest with God. I didn't quite understand the whole concept of grace. I knew it was important because I've read so much about it, but it was obvious I was missing something. I prayed and asked God to help me gain a better understanding, and I had faith that He would.

God kicked-off my lesson in grace a few days later while I was in the shower. (It seems like God always talks to me in the shower). I was complaining to God about how I always make mistakes and that it feels like no matter what I do, what I read, what I learn; I always say, do or think something wrong. I always fail. I always fall. I always sin.

I was acting like the victim in this thing called life, and I pointed my finger at God and demanded, "Why is life so difficult"? "Why do I always stumble?" "Why do I always do something stupid?"

On my spiritual journey, I have an idea of where I want to be, and no matter how I grow, it feels like I always fall short. The person I want to be doesn't put her foot in her mouth. The person I want to be doesn't have insecurities. The person I want to be doesn't have problems with eating, lusting, lying, gossiping, pride, laziness, blah, blah, blah.

The person I want to be is PERFECT!!!

Oh! And that's when God pulled a fast one on me. He uncovered my "I'm-the-victim-attitude" and exposed it for what it really was: pride. I wasn't where I thought I should be and I was upset: pride. I couldn't except the fact that I was flawed and I made mistakes: pride. I didn't want others know my struggles and watch me stumble: pride. My little pity-party was boiling over the flame called pride.

And after God nicely humbled me there in the shower, He gave me a smile (in my mind's eye) and said gently, "That's why you need my grace."

What I realized is that I didn't want to accept God's grace because my pride was telling me that I should be something that I was not.

But I am a woman that says things to friends that I later regret. I am a woman who just ate about 15 Peppermint York Patties without stopping to exert some semblance of self-control.

I am a woman who has to fight with feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I am a woman who has to stop herself from judging the actions and decisions of others.

I am a woman who's stuck in the middle of a battle between her own will and the will of the Holy Spirit.

I am not perfect, and I will never be. I will fall on a daily basis and those around me will see it. I can't put on a show for others or for me. Accepting God's grace frees me from being hard on myself. I am not loved because I try to be the best Christian girl possible. I am loved because God created me and He chooses to love me. There is nothing that I can do to make Him love me more or less. I will make mistakes, and I should not care who sees them because I have grace. And I won't use those mistakes to justify playing the victim role again.

God is showing me that women are naturally very hard on themselves. What can we do in our day to day lives to cut ourselves some slack and to offer grace to others?

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me." – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

“Thank You, God, for Your grace. Help us to see the beauty in holes of our weakness, for that is where Your glory shines through.”

In Him,

Alisa Hope

Alisa Hope Wagner has a MA degree in English - Applied Linguistics. She taught high school English before becoming a full time mom. Alisa married her high school sweetheart, and they have two sons and a daughter. Alisa homeschools her kids and enjoys writing and reading in her spare time. Alisa loves writing about what the Holy Spirit is teaching her, and her goal is to show women how much Jesus Christ adores them.

Alisa can be found at her personal site, faithimagined

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Blogger Denise said...

Very awesome, bless you.

August 6, 2009 at 3:11 AM  
Blogger Kristen Arnold said...

Thanks, Alisa, it's a good reminder, and I think we all struggle with pride, and half the time aren't even desiring to be holy because we want to honor God, but rather because we want to not look foolish. I know that's how I feel, so well said! It takes courage to admit a struggle with pride and you did it so honestly. Thanks for your thoughts today!

August 6, 2009 at 5:58 AM  
Anonymous Becky said...

I've been wondering about some pride issues in my own life recently. Thank you for posting this.

August 6, 2009 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Sista Staci said...

Your post struck a cord with me today. It seems this has been an area that the LORD has been dealing with me. How wonderful it is when we operate in Grace and Mercy. We are much easier on ourselves and others. When we sit in the Mercy Seat, we are removed from the judgment seat. There is only one worthy to sit in Judgment, and HE chose to serve! Blessings on your day!!

It's all GOOD in tha Sista-Hood!
Sista Staci Pealock

August 6, 2009 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

This is one thing I deal with so often. Thank you for writing what so many feel. You are such a talented writer and such a blessing to so many. God bless you my dear friend.
Amy @ Filled With Praise

August 6, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

This was reality staring me in the face, because just yesterday I struggled so hard. Some days are easy and some are not so easy, but I know He's with me and His love will get me through anything.

August 6, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger lori said...

I JUST did a Word Filled Wednesday on this very thing....oh that I....truth is we all hide behind the pride in some way...what a wonderfully honest word you've shared with us today Alisa...

I'll be thinking on it ALL day! peace!

August 6, 2009 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

Grace. Grace. Grace. He provides enough grace to cover our pride, out of His great love for us. Good thing, because pride is always attempting to raise its ugly head in one way or another, often hidden as something else.

Wonderful post, thank you!

August 6, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Pttyann said...

Yes,yes God will take us there,and it's a wonderful thing how God choses to encourage us!!!! Loved your post Alisa.

August 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Blessed2Serve said...

So true, so true, so true. Thanks for encouraging and challenging me! Great post. -Mary O.

August 6, 2009 at 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this Alisa... Hugs and blessings, sweet friend! ~ janel

August 6, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Beautiful and true. I have been learning a lot about God's grace recently and it is making it much easier for me to give others that grace. Which in the past has not always been easy for me! My daughter occasionally has to remind me, "Mom, your middle name is (literally) Grace." Such a blessing to have spiritually growing teenagers!

August 6, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Crissy said...

Very true! I am glad I am not the only one!

August 6, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

This was so very morning devotional yesterday used that same scripture reference and spoke of grace...I think Someone is trying to tell me something....

August 6, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Joiful said...

I love it! This was me a couple of nights ago in the shower. This is when I always talk with God too! Especially when I'm upset and beating myself up like the other night.

Embracing his grace daily. Love the post and your blog site.


August 6, 2009 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

I've already told you this post is awesome, but I'm saying it again. So glad others will be blessed through your writing as I have.

August 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Molina Mania said...

You are an awesome writer! I am working on renewinf my faith and you help everytime I read your post. I can totally relate to this! THanks and love ya!

August 7, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger ~ Being Woven said...

WOW! I could not STOP reading this! Not that I wanted to, but, Alisa, it is me! It is the me who I don't want to be either! I am working on taking the "I" from pride as well. Praise the LORD that He rains His Grace upon us freely. He wants us to know how much He loves us.
May the Holy Spirit continue to teach us and to bless us. May our heart ears and eyes be open to Him.
~ linda

August 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Sunny Reed said...

Well said my friend. My Favorite part, " nothing I can do can make him love me more or less.," Good stuff True stuff

August 7, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Your heart is shared beautifully here. Giving ourselves grace is the hardest in my opinion. I am learning to see who God sees me to be. His eyes are full of grace. I am learning to look through His eyes.

It's great to have you here!

August 7, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Lacey said...

Thank you for sharing your heart.

August 8, 2009 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Cindy and Sam Faulkner said...

Great message, Alisa!
What a lesson in humility..such a struggle to remove what I want and wait on God. I am trying to slow down so I can hear His quiet and calming voice.

August 8, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Alisa, God used you this morning to put words to what i've been feeling. Thank you for such an open & honest account....i too feel like i have so much to live up to in the eyes of others. Sometimes i forget that the only eyes that matter are HIS. You are lovely & i hope to read more of your posts!

August 8, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Great post, Alisa!

August 8, 2009 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Shauna Renee' said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hears His voice in the shower (or tub)! Bless you for your honesty. This is a great post, and I'm going to be following your blog as well!

August 8, 2009 at 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

What a thought-filled and thought-provoking post. There's lots of things to ponder here! Thanks!

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

August 9, 2009 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Linda, Greg and Drew said...

This post really hit home today...grace is something I have always had a hard time truly understanding as well, your post gave me a lot to think about (most likely in the shower as well, ha ha)!!

August 9, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Rock Star Ma said...

Great devotional. I see God smile in my minds eye too. :)

August 9, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger LINDZ said...

Its so refreshing to have every woman's struggle put into words that are relatable! Thanks for the encouragement! God's Grace is One-of-a-kind!

August 9, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Nelsby said...

Hello Alisa,

Thank you for your thoughtful and reflective post. I think we all need a reminder to reflect once in a while.

sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

August 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Doreen said...

This is beautiful! Thanks for posting this! purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

August 9, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger clallen said...

thank you for a great article. you are inspiring.

August 9, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Alene said...

Awesome! WOW I totally battle that Perfect Me Syndrome too! Thank you Jesus for grace. Thanks Alisa for sharing.

August 9, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger barbara.montyj said...

I just found this site.
It's quite interesting reading.
So much so true.

August 9, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I so often relate to your devos, but this one is staring me in the face so obviously!
I KNOW I'm hard on myself. I KNOW I'm way critical of others. I KNOW I worry about what others perceive of me as a Christian woman. I KNOW I can't possibly measure up. I now know, too, how ALL of these are rooted in pride!
Thanks for sharing your heart, & thereby sharing the heart of God with us! You are so annointed & I marvel everyday at the friends He's blessed me with... friends like YOU!
I love you.

August 9, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger cdziuba said... Wow, what a lot to think about. Thank you for your depth and love.

August 10, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Amber Lynae said...

This is a beautiful post. We are often too hard on ourselves, and seem to overlook the fact that our mistakes are why we need the Lord's saving grace. His grace is sufficient and I must trust in him to make me whole, and help me to turn to him in my struggles.

August 10, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

That was a wonderful post. I think grace is a very important subject that many of us need to re-learn over and over. Our pride gets in the way so often. We aren't perfect, and we need to learn to humble ourselves and accept God's grace. Thanks for your message.

August 11, 2009 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger pattycake said...

nice inspiring article and yes. I often tell friends things I shouldn't say--don't we all

August 11, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Connie Walsh said...

Wow!!! Very eye opening. But isn't pride just one more failure like eating too many peppermint patties? Hmmm. I guess that is when we ask for and receive grace for pride and peppermint.

August 11, 2009 at 11:28 PM  
OpenID spoodles said...

So true! I think most of us (women, I don't know about men) struggle with perfectionism. When we try to find our holiness within ourselves, we don't get very far, do we? Thank God His grace is sufficient, because my pride has been something I've struggled with above all other sins...still is. Thanks for being so honest. That's not an easy thing to do, is it?

August 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Valorie said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful revelation.

August 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

I so much appreciated reading this devotional. It was well written and meaningful.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

August 14, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) said...

I enjoyed reading your devotional and loved the reference to York peppermint patties ;) I grew up as a perfectionist, but my imperfections never bothered me much. My ambitions were more goal-oriented.

The failing and falling reminds me of my partner. He's always complaining that he can't or doesn't do things right -- even when I don't say a word. I guess that's the result of living with a Type A personality. Personally, I think I've lightened up tremendously in the last ten years.

August 16, 2009 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Cindy Bultema said...

What a powerful post! I appreciate your wisdom, authenticity, and encouragement. Thank you for sharing fresh insight on a powerful, life-changing verse. You've blessed me and I am grateful! :)

August 17, 2009 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger amweeks said...

Thank you so much for this! I often try to be perfect...the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, the perfect mother. And all too often I fail in what I try to accomplish. Instead of getting down about everything I don't do, I need to remember what I DO accomplish with God's help!

August 17, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis

Thanks for all the Free Flowing Love from your blog. May Gods blessings rain down on you each and every day with a rainbow attached!!!
Winks & Smiles Shawna ;o)

August 19, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Dixieland57 said...

Thanks for helping each of us keep our eyes on JESUS... the Author and Finisher of our faith..... Your words have nourished my soul...

I see the "SON" in your eyes,

August 21, 2009 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

What a beautiful post-I also struggle with my human nature waiting to rule instead of allowing God to reign supreme with my life.

August 21, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Annette D said...

What a good reminder to us all. This is something that I struggle with as well. Thank you for a wonderful post!

August 24, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Christie said...

So very true! This was one of the major hurdles I had to overcome in marriage.... pride; Wanting my husband to think that I was perfect... getting my feelings hurt if he saw my flaws. Thanks for a great post!

August 27, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Midday Escapades said...

I am with you all the way on this one. Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone in this.

August 29, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Traci Fritz said...

How encouraging! It is comforting to know that I am not the only women out there struggling with this. I find it amazing that God knew I needed to hear this today. Thanks for sharing.

August 31, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

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