“Pride Goes Before A Fall…”
The minute the words started moving through my lips, I knew where it had come from.
The rush, starting in the heart, always in the heart, moved those words, up and out just like a tidal wave moves a piece of ugly driftwood easily ashore.
That momentous force that pushes those ill-timed words out, words that under other conditions would be harmless, maybe even beneficial but are ugly, ugly sin when motivated by
PRIDE in the heart.
PRIDE welling up.
PRIDE bringing low.
With Danny’s new job (at Perimeter church), he is meeting with many different department heads to see where his giftings would be best used for the next two years before he plants his own church. Well, Head of Community Outreach was on his way to our house to pick Danny up for a meeting. Estimated time of arrival? 4pm, right when Kids Club would be finishing up and our yard would be filled with kids from all nations.”Perfect”, I think to myself, “He’ll show up at our house and see how focused we are on reaching the community around us. He’ll definitely want Danny working in his department, then.”
So yesterday we finish up kids club and I start cleaning up and all the kids start trickling home. Afterwards, Mr. Head of Community Outreach gets welcomed into our home, with craft papers and markers still strewn about, and now not just pride over doing outreach sets in, but pride over my house and “I-can’t-bear-to-have-him-think-that-this-is-what-my-house-always-looks-like.” gets the better of me.
So as Danny introduces him to me, I
cleverly pridefully throw in a,
“Sorry about our house, we just finished up doing a kids club this afternoon. We’re doing it all week to reach out to our neighbors and get a chance to share the Gospel with them.”
Those ugly words, slimed with my pride.
And Matthew 6:1 shakes it’s eternal head at me…
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”
And just as a reminder, God sent rain ALL DAY today, and a phone call from one of the kid’s grandma’s saying that she wouldn’t be able to come, and a conversation this morning with one of the dads saying his daughter would be with relatives today, and a knocked-on door that never got answered, and a visit to Nurhiam, Joseph, Joshua, and Renato’s house that was met with a “we can’t come today, we are about to go to the doctors.” And I walked back to my place, under the umbrella, under the rain, and under conviction. . “Lord, I know I got prideful at how well this kids club is going and I took a gift FROM YOU, and tried to get glory FOR ME from it, And I’m just an ugly mess of mixed motives. But please, Lord, I repent of this, and please don’t let my sin get in the way of these kids meeting you this week.”
So with my five, and just two other neighbors we do “Plan B” kids club, which was actually God’s “Plan A”. Because as I told them to draw a picture while I read to them, instead of doing our normal schedule of events (because I don’t want the other kids to miss the crucial parts of the Gospel presentation), I opened the book they chose for me to read, and this is what the first chapter was:
I get it, Lord! I’m learning!
And I invited those seven kids around the table into my learning process, and told them how I had been prideful and how today not many kids could come, AND it was raining, AND how God was using this little children’s book, “In Grandma’s Attic”, to whop me over the head, humble me, and keep me on my knees before Jesus.
“Is it worth it, guys?” , I ask.
NO! they sound out in unison.
“See how our pride hurts us and the people around us?”
And its a wonder that God chooses messy, arrogant people to be his laborers in the harvest.
May He get all the more glory from using broken tools to build His Kingdom.
Glimpse into today:
Newspaper “Snow” Ball fight in the basement