Are you the type of person who likes to do everything themselves? Do you hate asking others for help? Would you be considered independent and a free spirit? If so, I’m sure you can relate to countless other people just like you … just like me.
Restrictions and boundaries … the kind that stop us from doing what we really want to do … are no fun. If it were moving day and there was nobody around to help lift the heavy boxes I’ll bet you would be tempted to do it all yourself … bad back and all … just because that restriction would be preventing you from doing what you really wanted to do … which is get the job done and over with. However, there is a fine line between being independent and being foolish. That’s where pride comes in. If you know in your heart of hearts you really should listen to your body and you knowingly go beyond your limitations even further than absolutely necessary … you’re teetering on that fine line and about to fall into the trap of pride.
In Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) the Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” It’s all too easy to disregard restrictions and boundaries when we, instead, choose to listen to that independent, free spirit attitude that keeps egging us on to keep going … no matter what the cost. You would think some of us were in a race to win a gold medal at the Olympics the way we run around … ignoring our body’s signals to slow down. In this fast paced world it’s hard to intentionally “stop and smell the roses” from time to time … but, unfortunately, if we don’t make the time voluntarily, our body might just rebel and make it for us as evidenced through sickness or disease slowing us down whether we like it or not.
The problem is not with our bodies, the problem is with pride… not wanting to humble ourselves and accept the way our bodies were created. In fact, Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) says, “For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” So, the reality is that we are wonderfully made … that is the absolute truth we find in God’s Word. The problem is that we oftentimes don’t like not being able to do what we want to do, when (and how) we want to do it. Our human nature and our attitude would rather rebel … and get prideful.
In Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV) we see God’s original intent when He created us: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
So, here we see that we … all of us … were created in the image of God … and that he created us male and female … and his intention is for us to be fruitful and increase in number. A little further in Genesis 2:24 (NIV) …after the account of how woman was made… we read, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Like I mentioned previously, the problem is not with our bodies, the problem is with pride… not wanting to humble ourselves and accept the way our bodies were created… and our human nature and our attitude would rather rebel … and get prideful. We would rather try to make our bodies do things it was never created to do… we would rather allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking we’re missing out on something good rather than humble ourselves and tell ourselves no … we can’t do it … it’s not the way God created me … no matter how much I desire to be “that way”… God did not create me “that way” and it’s more important to honor God and honor my body by using it the way God originally intended it to be used… to be fruitful and multiply… not only in the sense of expanding the human race… but also in the sense of using my unique gifts, talents, and abilities as the male or female God created me to be … to honor Him and be a blessing to others.
Pride gets in the way of God’s best for us. Perhaps that’s why James 4:6-10 (NLT) says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
The bottom line about pride is this: We need to die to pride … we need to voluntarily tell ourselves no … before our bodies involuntarily make us say no. It doesn’t matter what the pride is about… pride from lifting boxes that are way too heavy for us, pride from not listening to our doctor’s advice about eating healthy and exercising to prevent us from getting diabetes or another life-changing disease, or pride from trying to make our bodies function as anything other than the male or female God originally created us to be when He created us in His image … that fearfully and wonderfully made creation that the Lord has promised to lift up in honor when we humble ourselves before Him.