Good morning! I know it has been a long time since I hopped on here and shared my heart. Part of that is life gets in the way, and part of it is how I approached this blog. I thought this blog needed to remain “professional” so I only wanted to post well-thought out devotions. And well-thought out devotions take time to write. I also know as a blog reader that I like to connect to the author, to feel like I “know” them. You won’t get to know me if I keep this blog “professional” because…well, let’s face it…99% of the time I am just a Christian woman, a wife, a mom, a teacher, a coach, striving to live a life pleasing to the Lord. All that to say, don’t be surprised if I start posting some more random things now and then. Things that are not “professional,” but hopefully, relatable.*
*Like right now…why is this program telling me relatable is not a word? I googled it. It is spelled correctly and means exactly what I’m trying to say. And google is always right, isn’t it? ; -) Oh well, you know what it means too so I will continue.*
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
I stopped doing New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago and instead chose a word or phrase that I wanted to focus on for the year. For the past several years, it has been “Embrace the Day.” If you want to read my thoughts on that, you can go here.
This year, I knew it was time for something different. The Lord has been working on my heart in an area that deserved more than a passing thought.
More specifically humility within relationships.
Anybody ever have trouble getting along with someone else?
Let me raise my hand first.
We all have relationships that take more work than others. Maybe there is an underlying tension between you and the other person that makes it a strained relationship. Maybe you and the other person just disagree on some things and you simply cannot find that middle ground. Maybe you are constantly praying about your relationship with that person and trying to find ways to communicate your difference of opinion in a kind way.
That was me in the last month or so.
I knew I was in a strained relationship and didn’t really know how to “fix” it. I began praying about it, knowing that I didn’t want my attitude toward the other person to become sin in my life. As I was praying and seeking God’s will in the relationship, I stumbled upon this verse.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10
Before I go any further, take a look at the definition of contention (taken from Websters 1828).
Strife; struggle; a violent effort to obtain something, or to resist a person, claim or injury; contest; quarrel.
Yep! That pretty much summed up what I had been feeling toward the other person (so…thankfully not the violent part…). The Lord opened my eyes to see that the differences in opinions, the contention, was all the result of pride. Many times when I would get annoyed or angry with the other person, it was due to what their comments did to my pride. It was my pride that insisted I was right and they were wrong.
In truth, I’d argue that pride is at the root of all sin in our life, but we’ll save that for another time.
I began to think, “Be humble. Be kind.”
Over and over again.
Each time I interacted with this person, those words would play over and over in my heart and mind.
Did it make everything better? Well, no, not really.
In fact, I remember a day I confided in my husband that being humble would be a lot easier if the other person were also trying to be humble!
And yes, that is true.
But the Lord convicted me to focus only on my pride. Focus on my efforts to be humble in the relationship.
I can’t tell you the relationship has gotten any easier, but I can tell you that my attitude has changed. I’m not as sensitive as I was because the comments–the digs, as I call them–don’t have to bruise my pride if I’m trying to be humble.
I’ll keep my focus on humility. Putting others before myself. Seeking opportunities to show kindness.
That feels so much better than contention anyway.