This is going to be a great show! I thought to myself as we prepared to walk onstage. Our band had prepared for weeks for this moment and fine-tuned excessively. Finally the day had come, and we were waiting for the announcement that would signal us to step out in front of the crowd.
“Please welcome the 4 Proches” came the call, and out we stepped. We picked up our instruments and started the show. Shortly into the set at the beginning of a song, I suddenly realized I had no idea what the lyrics were. Panic. Cold sweats. My brother started playing the intro, and I wished we had some sort of wireless brain communication so I could tell him to stop. Unfortunately, we weren’t blessed with that. I turned to look at the smiling crowd and did what I had to do—I made up the first verse.
Praying not only connects us with God, it reminds us that we’re too weak to go through life entirely in our own strength.
I’m not proud of that moment. Not just because I forgot the words to the song, but because of what happened leading up to stepping onstage. I had confidence in my abilities (and my siblings) that this would be a fantastic show. I pictured us taking it by storm, every note, word, and move perfected. I wasn’t as focused on blessing people with music as I was on how great it would feel to get it all just right and to hear the thunderstorm of applause from the crowd. It all came down to one word—pride.
It hurts to say that word. “Me? Pride? What?” Of course I have pride. And I have to continually remind myself of that fact so I can battle it. God’s Word helps me in that fight.
James 4:6 warns, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” If I keep reading, I find “humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (v. 10).
If you are a living and breathing human being, I would bet that you have, will, or do struggle with pride. Don’t worry. You’re not alone! Here are a few tactics I’ve found helpful in the battle against pride.
1. Ask for help.
Sometimes I forget to do this when I think, Oh, I’ll follow this formula to get rid of pride, and it’ll be insanely simple. Then I go on my merry way and don’t “bother” God with it. But God wants to hear us ask Him for help! As disciples, we should follow Jesus’ example, and Jesus was a man of prayer. Lots of prayer. Praying not only connects us with God, it reminds us that we’re too weak to go through life entirely in our own strength. Romans 12:12 tells us to “be constant in prayer.” That’s good advice!
2. Study pride and humility.
Bible verses and stories about pride as well as stories of men and women who were humble are two rich sources we have to help in our pursuit of humility. King David, Samson, Amy Carmichael, George Müller, and Gladys Aylward are just a few incredible people who either battled pride or had incredible humility when they had the right to boast about their accomplishments.
For more helpful verses about pride, check out:
3. Get some perspective.
As I write this post, my family and I are driving through the redwood forest in Northern California. It’s so stunning. It makes me feel small—really, really small. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the world does not revolve around us. When you immerse yourself in creation, it puts your spot in the world in perspective. I’m amazed as I sit here looking at enormous redwood trees pass by that the same God who created these created the Milky Way Galaxy and created me! It’s humbling.
Psalm 19:1 says it best: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
When you immerse yourself in creation, it puts your spot in the world in perspective.
Remember my pride problem at the beginning before our show? Well, ironically enough, now we’re on tour with our band, and I’m getting to work on remembering that the real reason we do music is to point others to Christ, share hope, and inspire. The night that I forgot the lyrics is a reminder: I’m not here because of anything I’ve done, but because of everything Christ has done for me.
What are some ways you have worked on beating out pride in your own life?
Why do you think pride is so hard to overcome?
What affect has pride had in your life?