Today I was going to post a blog about how I’m afraid of the dark.
Spiritual warfare has been real lately ya’ll. The longest stretch of nightmares, fearing sleep, and 100% afraid to turn my lights off I’ve had yet. So bad that I bought a cool nightlight off Amazon at 1am a week ago.
Anyways, a blog for another time.
Instead, I found something way more interesting about the “pride of life.”
John talks about it in 1 John 2:15-17. I have been loving 1 John lately. It’s been my go-to-I-don’t-know-what-to-read book. Today I decided to go through it verse by verse, writing in my journal what it says, and then at the end of a section, dissect it in application. It’s been sweet.
The cool thing about reading the Word this way, is that little phrases I would normally glance over, have popped out and caused me to reflect, ask deeper questions, and pray differently. This was one of them.
[1 John 2:15-17]
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
This was a huge lightbulb moment for me.
Recently I’ve been struggling with the pride of life.
I’m currently coming off multiple years in bondage to the words “Bring God the most glory.” Not just His glory [which is completely up to Him how His glory is brought, as if I have any say in the matter], but His upmost glory. In which I felt tethered to ultimate obedience but only to what would bring God the most glory.
So it would make sense that I also struggle with having some form of pride about my life, if I single-handedly wanted to bring God a ton of glory. Pride that “I’m doing good,” or “on the right track.” But don’t we all have that pride? Or at least desire to be proud of our lives?
Something I’ve been learning about God lately is that most of what I think He wants from me, is an idea I got from the world. But as I dive into His Word, I’m beginning to realize that what He actually wants from me, is far different.
For example. I have it in my head that in order to live a fulfilled life I must be successful at my job, have amazing friends, a husband that is perfect for me [which of course has to look a certain way], make enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle but also enough to give away, as well as travel and have an abundance of adventures so that I can post to social media and show the world how successful and fantastic my life is. Because all of these things are going to bring me 100% fulfillment and I am going to be so incredibly happy all the time because of these things.
The pride of life.
And yet… God’s Word says that the pride of life, these things, are not from the Father but from the world.
Sit back and think about that for a moment. The things that we think we should be proud of in life, are actually not from the Father but from the world.
What are the things you value most in life? What defines your success? Your happiness? When you die, what list of things do you want your friends and family to say about you?
Are they things of the world? Things that the world tells us we need in order to be proud of the life we are living/have lived?
I kid you not, I had to pray for humility the other day when I posted a “more Godly picture” on Instagram compared to someone else. What the heck is wrong with me!?
But that’s the pride of life that comes from the world.
God doesn’t ask us to live a life in obedience to Him so that we can be proud of our lives. He asks us to live a life of obedience to His loving commands so that we can be with Him forever in Eternal Life. And He wants us to tell other people about Him so they can join us in Eternal Life with our Father too. And His greatest command, is to Love. To love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And to love your neighbor as yourself. [Matthew 22:37-40]
I have fallen in love with 1 Corinthians 13 recently. For many reasons, but one of my favorites is the fact that verse 7 in the NIV says:
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
And verse 13 says:
“These three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.”
We might think that being prideful about our life is important. But really, God calls us to obey His commands – and the greatest one, is love.
It gives me a huge sense of relief, knowing that I don’t need to have the perfect life story. Because truthfully, that’s not what it’s about! And if it was, I would always fall short. I would always compare myself to the next person, and the devil would always speak lies that I was never good enough.
But it’s not about me. And when it’s not about me being perfect and having complete control, I realize I just need to pursue a life obeying all of God’s commands, and let Him worry about the pieces of my life being made and placed perfectly.