Beheading Ye Olde Beast

August 20, 2008 at 10:08 am (Articles, Attitudes, Godly Living) (, , , , , )

Brilliant sunshine streams down on the sparkling helmet of the valiant warrior, decked in armor, sword drawn, advancing along the dangerous pathway. But if you’re a warrior like me, you’ve discovered that the most dangerous dragons rear their heads somewhere underneath the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness…somewhere deep down inside your heart. All too often I find the monster Pride residing there. And I wave scriptures at it, like “Have this attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus!” and “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble!” Blinking, it snickers, and the billowing smoke from its nostrils sends me coughing and wheezing and tumbling backward. If you’re like me, you know you’re often guilty of feeding that dragon instead of destroying him, but as the dragon of pride grows, he will destroy you!

The secret to ousting the beast is simple, but painful. After all, destroying a dragon who resides in my heart feels about akin to chopping my own head off.

Espy ye opportunities for humbling and give hearty chase.

A friend once shared this astonishing piece of advice with me. I find it goes completely opposite of my nature—I want to take every opportunity to make myself look as good as possible. Instead, discipline yourself to share your weaknesses, your struggles, your failures. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Tell embarrassing stories on yourself. Laugh when you do something stupid or awkward. Take opportunities to try something new—even if you might fail. Paul discovered his thorn in the flesh was given to him to keep him humble because God is glorified through weakness. Glory in your weakness so that God may be shown strong.

Serve ye others.

Jesus said, “The greatest among you must become the servant of all.” He didn’t come to be served, but to serve and we are to have His attitude of humility. Don’t look out for your own interests, but for the interests of others. Be willing to vanish from the spotlight and work backstage. Stoop, take up the basin and towel and wash the feet of the Lord’s people.

Make use of thy shield to deflect ye praise.

Invariably it comes—praise. And the one giving the praise is doing well. For you, each shaft of praise my be a dart of poison, shot from the dragon’s mouth. Send those shafts somewhere else! “The Lord has blessed me with good teachers.” “My parents have worked hard to train me this way.” “The Lord’s been working on me a long time about that—I’m thrilled if some of it is finally sticking.” “I hope the Lord is pleased.” “My brother built most of it.” “It was my sister’s idea.” “My dad suggested I try this.” “You should hear my friend play!” So, the credit is no longer yours? Good. The Lord says those who seek praise on earth have their reward in full, but your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Keep company with ye lowly.

Jesus set the example for us by hanging out with the lowly of His day. For me there are certain people I’d rather not be seen with—they say embarrassing things or act immaturely or wear weird styles or simply need to take a shower. Essentially, they are about three pegs below me on the social ladder. They make me look bad. The Lord spoke through Isaiah saying, “I dwell in a high and holy place and also with the lowly and contrite or spirit.” Do I want to be where the Lord is? I can’t attain His high and holy place no matter how hard I try, but I can hang out with the lowly.

The scriptural promise is manifold—the proud will be brought low. But to those who choose to be lowly, the Lord will say, “Come up here and sit by Me.” And I find the given grace is two-fold: not only does God extend grace to us, but He lends graciousness. If you’re already lowly of spirit, nothing can humiliate you. Do you have a nasty habit of walking into doorways? Your laugh saves you from ridicule. Are you teased about being so short? Your trampled pride will not become irate. Has no one noticed your splendid accomplishment? Well, really, it was the Lord’s work. Nothing will offend you. Why should you be offended?

Ah, but that dragon hates to be humiliated. He hates to be annoyed. He hates serving others and spending time with those “below” him. With a huff and a puff, he’ll walk right out of your heart to find a more comfortable nest.

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1 Comment

  1. He Has Told You What is Good « Pearls and Diamonds said,

    […] must humble ourselves because He is opposed to the proud.  (For some practical ideas here, see “Beheading Ye Olde Beast”)  And we must walk beside Him, faithful to be with Him, to listen to Him, to converse with Him, […]

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