Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the Road Again - EXHAUSTING PRIDE

On the Road Again – EXHAUSTING PRIDE

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
- 2 Corinthians 7:10

Does it matter to me or you if we win a trophy – or attain our 15 minutes of fame? What measure of performance should we weigh our accomplishments against?

My fear of not measuring up requires me to exhaust my unsightly pride. But, this does not mean I am to give up on achieving a goal. Rather, I am to reevaluate the correctness of the original belief. On my bike, I regularly compare myself to others or peddle at an improbable pace. In life, I focus on how I have been wronged.

As I struggle near the top of any hill climb, the reality of my inwardly-focused ambition, motivation, and purpose begins to strangle me. I am consumed with a wrong vision of how the event should unfold.

You see, success is inwardly focused but true greatness is outwardly focused. The first attempts to puff me up and the other acts to puff up others. As my muscles scream for more oxygen, I have to reevaluate the following questions:
  • What is the source of my ambition?
  • What is the source of my motivation?
  • What is the source of my purpose?

Am I peddling to bring glory to the Father by growing in character or to bring short-lived glory to my name? Is the reason I’m peddling in the first place to strengthen my body for my own service or for the strength it will give me to serve others?

In life, repentance is a reflection of true greatness. Worldly regret is fleeting and lasts only a moment. But, repentance despises how the behavior we committed hurts others and turns away from it. Repentance focuses on a concern for others.

I believe a large measure of spiritual maturity becomes apparent in a person when they can exhaust their pride for the benefit of another. And certainly, situations of hardship often bring this type of personal growth in our lives.

Hill climbs on my bike are a living metaphor for me. I use each peddle stroke to physically exhaust my body so that I can mentally exhaust my selfish ambition, motivation, and purpose. I pray for less of me and more of His perspective, His peace, and His provision. It is when my body is suffering that I am able to lay aside my desires for His greater purpose. The bike is where this becomes real to me.

The way to overcome the suffocating effects of the SELF is to be gracious. Ultimate grace is observed in the act of laying down one’s own life for the benefit of another – Jesus’ death on the cross is the best example (John ).

  • Are you willing to lay aside your SELF for the benefit of others?
  • Who or what are you bringing glory to?
  • Where do you focus your time, talents, and treasures?

Worldly regret comes from a concern for how others will perceive you. In our flesh we can feel remorse, acknowledge evil deeds, and even been ashamed of ourselves. But, this internal disgust can be quickly shrugged off without marks of true repentance.

True repentance comes about from a concern for the well being of another (Romans 12:9). We offer this kind of love because we have first been loved this way (1 John ).

Do you know this kind of love?

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
- James 3:17

This is the 5th post in a six week series on hill climbing. Be sure to read the ENTIRE series ... On the Road Again
If you enjoyed this blog series you may also enjoy the series ... Open Road, Narrow Path
To learn more about how to experience God in your everyday life read The Whee Factor.


Anonymous said...

Like the ostrich... love this blog! If only I could be better at doing it. Its so hard to deny yourself.

Anonymous said...

I heard once that only one person in the history of mankind didn't have a "messiah complex" (obssesion with self). Ironically, He turned out to be The Messiah