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Monday, February 9, 2015

Of Faults and Freedom

Break down our pride
And all the walls we've built up inside
Our earthly crowns and all our desires
We lay at your feet

As my college semesters go by, I become increasingly more aware of my levels of pride. For years, I had believed that I had extremely low levels of pride and no feelings of entitlement. I always had thought I'd managed to keep my pride in check and hold a very humble attitude. (See the problem with this?) I didn't feel like I ever acted as if I was prideful or haughty. I never felt like I acted as if I was any better than anyone else. 

But I did. It just manifested itself differently in me. For me, it was through my sensitivity to criticisms, my guilt complex, and through comparing myself to others.

When people criticize my ability, when I feel good about something I've been working on and I'm told I didn't do quite as well as I had imagined, I get offended. My feelings are hurt. Sometimes, I even tear up. I always say that I'm bad at taking criticism, that I'm uber-sensitive to negative comments. But that's really not it. It's because I don't feel like I should be criticized by anyone but myself. I have excuses.

I have pride.

I am constantly discouraged by where I am experience-wise and in my musical ability because I have been comparing myself to those who have come before me, who have invested in me, who are better than me, who I admire. I unknowingly made life into a contest, a challenge over who could be better instead of setting these people as examples, as role models. A role model is someone you look up to and someone you strive to live like. A role model is someone you learn from. A role model is not someone who you try to become. 

That's something that's taken me years to understand.

I am unsatisfied with where I am, yet I am not wholeheartedly committed to reach my personal goals. I have become swallowed by my pride. I have unconsciously given in to my ego. I have become consumed with feeling like I'm less than everyone else. Feeling like I'll never reach the same level as some of the best students at my school. Feeling as if I could never make my teacher proud because I wasn't as good or diligent as so many other students he's had. 

Funny thing, my teacher. We've had many a conversation about this in my least three years at college. He's told me several different times that my problem is hubris, a false sense of pride. I continuously brushed it off, not believing him because I'd never felt prideful. Not until recently. Not until God woke me up. 

But you know what?

I praise God for my pride. I praise God for my guilt complex. I praise God for how I compare myself to others.

Why?

Because it's through our weaknesses that God works the most. That's where he reveals himself. That's when I learn about God, about myself, and how much God can work in me, through me, and with me. It's through my failures and my faults that God shines the most, because He's greater than anything I have done or could ever do. God has such great power to be able to work through me and help me become better, stronger, and free. 

I'll be waiting from the "I told you" from my teacher. And this time, I won't be offended. I'll be one step closer to freedom. 

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