This month I have been inundated with all things concerning pride. Not just pride for embracing your alternative sexuality, but also pride in embracing your race, culture, and body. We are bombarded with messages that we should be so proud of ourselves that we need to be loud about it, shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful we are. Not only that we should be so proud of our bodies we should put their nakedness on exhibit.
To a certain extent, I understand the attraction of pride and how it can seem to bolster one’s self-esteem. However, I also understand how pride can lead to personal destruction, and it is not something to be flaunted.
As a teen trying to navigate the world and figure out where I fit in, I was certainly proud to display the things I felt most important in the world. As I grew older, the things I felt were important grew to encompass certain beliefs as well. Whatever it was I believed in, I was fully committed to, and I was certainly going to be loud about telling anyone I felt needed to hear. I was not going to be shamed or put into a corner concerning any of my beliefs.
Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.
Looking back I can see why I felt so passionately about the things I did. Things like music, homosexuality meaning you should be free to love whomever you want, marijuana not being a drug, freedom to worship all gods and goddesses, and many other beliefs. Still to this day, I am very passionate about my beliefs, it just so happens that I disagree with everything I used to think was so important.
Being proud of my body and my beliefs really was a defense mechanism for me. It helped me feel more important than the ever-pervasive self-hate and shame that lurked under everything I said and did. If I dressed provocatively, I told myself I wanted to show off my assets, but what I was really doing was crying out for the love and affection of a father I never had.
When I was loudly shouting that homosexuals should be free to love whom they want because love is love, I was really saying that I felt trapped in a world that made no sense and I had to redefine everything around me to find some sense and logic in it.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;
1 Corinthians 13:4-5a
You see for me, I was sexually abused by my mother and my grandmother in vile and horrific ways. I had become so desensitized to what normal and healthy sexuality was that I had to change it so that all the horror I experienced was okay. It had to be okay because I had absolutely no control over what was happening to my body for most of my childhood.
It wasn’t just homosexual experiences that scarred me, but the men in my life who sodomized me. My life was full of perversion, confusion, chaos, and pain and so when I emerged into the world as an adult seeing the messages of homosexual rights being brought to the forefront I felt drawn to it. I felt compelled to accept it and love it. I even forayed into homosexual experimentation on my own because I believed it would be safer for me than a man.
It didn’t take me long to understand that man or woman, you can have your heart broken just the same. So while I gave up on homosexual relations, I still felt compelled to join the fight for it and exercised my voting rights in their favor. Perversion was normal and acceptable to me, and as long as it was I could leave the past hidden in the dark, where it could never hurt me.
You have been deceived by your own pride
because you live in a rock fortress
and make your home high in the mountains.
‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’
you ask boastfully.
Except it was hurting me. It was actually killing me to believe the truth of my pain and abuse was in the past like a cancerous tumor that continues to grow. By the time I was ready to comfort my childhood abuse at almost 40, it was a huge relief to heal the pain and trauma. I thought I could never confront my past or live without extreme denial, but thanks to Jesus Christ I have found the peace that permeates my soul.
Looking back now I can see how pride masked the pain and I have had to humble myself many, many times. You see, pride is the one thing that can truly separate us from the living God. It was Lucifer who first exalted himself against God through pride. He too thought he was wonderful, beautiful, and that a better situation could be made for him. Yet when Lucifer rose against God, it cost him everything, just as it will for us.
We can never achieve glory, honor, respect, and acceptance outside of God. We may think we have by being loud enough, joining with certain groups, or raising our status in society, but it amounts to nothing in the end. There is nothing that compares with the unsurpassable love of God that penetrates every deep place of pain and shame and brings hope, truth, and love. He is the freedom that we long for, the love we yearn for, the truth that sets us free.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
In America, we are being constantly driven towards pride, but just as it did for Lucifer, it will lead to the destruction of this country. If you believe that fighting for rights for certain people groups is bring freedom, then you only need to look back in history and see where equality has brought division, control, and even death. While we cannot control the track this country is on, we can control our responses to it.
We can be willing to humble ourselves before the Living God, submitting all things to Him, including our own pride, and need to be raised up. Jesus was never raised up until they raised Him onto the cross. His destruction was meant to bring Lucifer more power, but instead, it cost him eternity in burning hellfire. We need to learn from the mistakes of our forefathers and understand that the only way to true joy is in perfect communion with the Father.
Our loving God and Father in heaven want to see us whole, healed, and made new. It was His every intention in the begging of the world, and it is why Jesus came to die for us. So do not dismiss His free gift of salvation. It is the gift of life, that will preserve your soul and bring you refreshment as you have never known.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.