letting go of pride: meet the Rock
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:31-34 | ESV
How can we quantify what Peter “the Rock” had to leave behind at the feet of Jesus?
What would he say?
We think of Peter and we think impetuous, unstable, foot-in-mouth as well as rock-solid, bold, loyal.
“Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Peter (then Simon) had whimpered as he fell at the feet of Jesus in that early encounter with him. Perhaps we could say it was pride at the center of that “sinful man” status he owned on that occasion.
The pride that said,
“You will never wash my feet!”
“Everyone else may deny you, but I will never leave you!”
“Lord, this will never happen to you!”
Perhaps ultimately it was pride that drew that sword in the garden – perhaps pride itself is the sword, which we slash at others, slicing off ears or, preferably, heads, stabbing hearts, gutting enemies.
It’s been said that the Bible does not teach “self-esteem.”
On some level it assumes it as a condition for relating well with others.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourselves soberly, in proportion to the measure of faith that God has given you.”
Pride assumes we are invincible, that we can’t fall – and that piles on when others do.
It’s pride that keeps us in the shadows after fall and failure find us, as they inevitably will and do. How appropriate that Jesus’ chosen timer for Peter’s ultimate failure was a cock crowing.
And not just once,
And how often do we, oblivious, pridefully push right on through the third, the fourth, the fifth crowing?
To become the Rock of faith towards God and of loving support for others, the rock of pride will have to be allowed to drop out of our hard hearts.
And the cock crows…
Where in your life do you sense the grip of unhealthy, controlling pride? How can that grip be loosened?
Lord, show me today where pride still has a hold on me – and show me how to let it go. Give me solid footing in my identity in you, so that, knowing who I am in you, I may walk with true humility in this world. Through Jesus.