Pride, My Daughter, Snowboarding & God's Word...

So we went skiing/snowboarding as a family this past weekend and my daughter was certain that her amazing ability to ride a “fake” sled-like snowboard down the slope of her friend’s front yard would yield to a perfect first day on a snowboard on real hills ;)   

45 minutes later, she sits pouting in the snow with her snowboard attached to her feet, wrist hurting from bracing her many falls, ski pants soaked telling me that she doesn’t want to do this anymore, and we are not even down the first “green” circle run.  

“What?!”  I ask, “you were begging to rent a snowboard, and now you don’t want to do this anymore?!”  Yes, I was frustrated and quickly realizing that my “choose your thoughts” positivity was not being received or practiced at this point.  What was the problem?   Was it really that my daughter was wanting to give up?

So I asked again, “Why don’t you want to go down the rest of the hill?   I’m confused, do you just want to go back in and sit down?”   That’s when the truth came out.

“I don’t want to go anymore because all those people in line at the chairlift are going to see me fall because I’m not very good, and they are all awesome.”  

“Oh no, not this again” I thought to myself.  We have discussed the many reasons why what other people think does not matter, namely because we should be more concerned about what God thinks; and it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in.  She is greatly concerned about what he/she/they think of her (even though I’m convinced they are not even thinking one thought of her at all!)   

My friend and I managed to get her down the rest of the way, mainly by leaving her and shouting from a far distance “just come to where I am now!”   (I’m not kidding!).  Reluctantly and without choice she slipped, spun, and slid her way to the bottom.  Upon arrival she looked around with panic as she crashed, in what she thought was the “grand finale” of her incompetence near the line of people waiting for the lift.  To her surprise nobody pointed a finger and laughed, or made a comment or even seemed to notice at all.  

Later that weekend, I prayed that God would guide me to help her overcome her insecurities about what others were thinking.  That’s when I “stumbled” upon this great verse in Proverbs: 

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.

After reading this verse to her I asked her if she thought she was prideful, she answered honestly and said “sometimes I think I’m better than other people.”  

One of the definitions of pride from states: a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

From this definition I helped my daughter realize that her constant concern about what other people think of her is very prideful also.  She was perplexed.  

“When you are worried about what he/she/they think of you, you are still making it all about you, as if you think you’re so significant that your incompetence, ignorance or even failures are due recognition from others.”  I said.  

I then explained that pride is not just when all you think about is yourself in a positive way, but also if you ridicule yourself and are constantly under a state of fear of what other’s think in a negative way, it’s all still only about you!  

We discussed how we should make our thoughts all about Him (God) and what He thinks of us and focus our mind and attention there; otherwise, God has a warning for us in Proverbs 16:18.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Humble thyself sweet daughter, I don’t want to see you in destruction and falling.  

Have you ever felt it was prideful to be self-loathing, or self-conscious? 

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What Are You Cutting Out?

The other night I was sitting watching my two boys play a game together.  The game they were playing has a “poster-like” game board that is very flimsy.  After the game was over,  I looked over and saw one of the boys cutting out a part of the poster.  So I had to ask:

Mom: “What are you doing?”

Son: “Cutting this out.”

Mom: “Ok, but WHY are you cutting it out?  You’re going to ruin the game!”

Son: “No I’m not, it’s still perfectly fine, I’m just cutting out these little words.  You can still play the game, see?” He says, as he puts the cards back on the poster to prove that this small cut is no big deal.

Mom: “What are those little words? What do they say?”

Son: “Ummm, well I cut them out and I did a bad job so I can’t really read the words anymore.  Oh wait, I think they are on the other side of the game board too.”

Mom: “Well if they’re on the other side then read them to me, I still want to know what it says.”

Son: “Ok it says, both players start with their own decks of 60 cards to play the game.  While both players know how many cards are in each deck, no one can look at or change the order of the cards in either player’s deck unless a card allows him or her to do that.”  

Mom: “So I’m still interested in why you wanted to cut it out.”

Son: “Because I don’t like those rules.”  

Mom: “You know when you cut out the rules son, you are creating a game where “anything” goes.  Now, every person you play with is going to want to change the rules to suit their own interests; which will make the game more about fighting over the rules than about enjoying the game.  It also means that since you’ve removed the rules about how the game begins, soon your brother is going to come by and cut out the rules on what determines the winner.  Then after that, your sister is going to cut out the part that states how you know that your turn has ended.  Eventually, there will be nothing at all that resembles that actual game, and nobody will want to play.

As I continued teaching about the outcome of “cutting out the rules”, it hit me; how many of us are metaphorically “cutting out” the rules/guidelines of what it means to be a Christian and follower of Jesus?  Many individuals read the bible and just “cut-out” the parts they don’t like as if it won’t impact the “game!”  As Christians we must keep the rules, players and end “game” of scripture intact; otherwise, “anything goes” and many end up hating it.  

How many people have left churches and have stopped believing in God completely because they were in the “game” with men and women who were “cutting out” the pieces of scripture they didn’t like?  

How many people are missing out on all God has for them because of the chunks they’ve cut out of scripture?  

God, am I missing anything?  Have I “cut-out” any scripture in my life?  

Am I cutting out any now?  

I pray that God would reveal to each of us any area in our lives where His Word has been “cut-out” and that we would repent and turn from our ways.  

You shall not add to the Word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.~ Deuteronomy 4:2

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. ~ Deuteronomy 12:32

“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” ~ Revelation 22:18-19

Have you “cut” anything out of scripture lately?  Why?

Written by Jamie Shaver

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