Kicking Against the Goad

What is the part of you that God has been working on the longest? What is the part that seems to be taking the most time and effort to re-shape into the reflected image of Christ?

Some people might say, “Oh, just all of me, mostly,” and others might say, “Just the deepest parts.” Still others might say “Well, if you can’t tell I’m not going to tell you!”

At the moment, I’d have to admit that’s the way I’m leaning. I figure that my faults are evident enough and you could probably list more of them than I’d want to listen to anyway. And therein is a hint of the honest answer. Deep down beneath the ground level of what seems to show pretty quickly, my answer would be “pride.”

I don’t think it’s the kind of pride that walks through the room feeling superior to everyone else or even to anyone else. Not the kind of pride rising from privilege, ancestry or one’s station in life. No, it’s more the kind of pride that likes to handle things in its own way. The kind that prefers to be left alone to do what needs to be done. The kind that believes it’s fully capable and will figure things out and find a good route to getting where it needs to get.

At an even more basic level, it’s probably the pride of wanting my own way. Isn’t that what all pride usually is? Thinking I should be in charge of everything pertaining to my own work and will and happiness?

I keep telling myself that I’ve made some progress over the years. Much more inclined in many situations to recognize the gifts of others, encourage them to use their areas of strength and figure out how to blend mine with theirs. I’ve focused more on giving credit to others and taking more of the blame myself. Making sure the focus is on those whose work is really responsible for the good that is gained.

I guess that is progress but I have some pretty regular reminders that I’ve still got a ways to go. Seems like any time I quit focusing on humility God reminds me of my pride. But sometimes it seems to take me quite a while to figure out that’s what he’s doing. I’m not sure why I’m so reluctant to remember that “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

I’ve got this feeling that he’s just going to keep doing this for as long as it takes. Humility is often the quickest path to ending our own self-induced suffering.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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