Stinging words they were. But though they wounded it was the only way to start the healing. The human soul is so self-consumed; it needs a battering before the patching can begin. Demolition has to precede the Remodeler's work.
My heart, indwelt by the Christ, desired humility, but my flesh eyes didn't even realize that my actions shouted, "Pride!"
Stinging words also shocked.
I knew well enough to listen in submission (the beginning of humility?). Later I sobbed a prayer that the Christ in my heart would give me His eyes to see the truth.
Pride is like a fungus - once it begins it is nearly impossible to root it out completely. If you clear it from one place in your life, it only means it has made it's abode in some other hidden corner.
I want it to go, Lord. Why have you not cured me? I must do better tomorrow, I must obey completely and follow instructions religiously, I must seek the interests of others, I, I, I.
Therein lay the vice.
I was focused inward. Even in my desire for humility I could not take thoughts or eyes off of I. Tim Keller speaks of blissful self-forgetfulness.
"His [Apostle Paul] sins and identity are not connected. He refuses to play that game. He does not see a sin and let it destroy His identity [in Christ]. He will not make a connection. Neither does he see an accomplishment and congratulate himself. He sees all kinds of sins in himself - and all kinds of accomplishments too - but he refuses to connect them with himself or his identity" (The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness).
I want that. I want my sight to be so filled with people, with Jesus, that I can no longer see me. I don't want to batter myself after being bruised by the rod of correction, but just see Jesus. I don't want to dwell on all the great others have said I've done, but just see Jesus. I don't want to daydream of future accomplishment and recognition, but just see Jesus.
Forgotten self, just see Jesus.
C.S. Lewis describes the predicament that pride puts us in. Pride cannot see God.
If my eyes are truly fixed on Jesus, this cancer of pride shouldn't be a problem for me. Clearly my vision is still blurry, broken, shifty. Thank you, Cambodia leaders, for the battering that's making possible much-needed healing, for the break that opens eyes of hope.
"A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you" (Mere Christianity).
I'm looking for Jesus. I hope you'll look with me, friends. Forget self.