Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble...
Norfolk Christian speaker Ruth Tong takes an honest look at the issue of pride and its sneaky disguises and seductions.
When I was a little girl my mum would listen to Radio 2 whilst the family had breakfast and at that time Terry Wogan, bless him, often introduced funny songs like 'Shut Uppa Your Face'!
I remember one of these was about a man who thought he was wonderful and was just so in awe of himself. It ended with the line "Oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can". I remember the four of us actually being quiet so we could listen to the words which were very funny. It was one of those freeze frame family moments in which we all rolled about laughing in unison before resuming battle over the last piece of toast. Yep it certainly was survival of the fittest in our house!
Some of my favourite childhood memories are full of noise, life and people. I love human beings; I love the mystery that is to be found in each of our life stories. People are precious to me and it's a privilege to be allowed to speak into and influence their world.
I enjoy sharing funny stories and breaking through some of the myths which unconsciously limit our joy and growth. I spoke at an event at the weekend and a number of folks shared how they'd been blessed by my talk which is great. However I'm also aware of my own fallen ability to wander onto the thin ice of pride at such times without realising it.
Pride like most sin feels good at the time but its fruit is death in some form. It can hide in the most obvious of places and is a master of disguise. Pride can hide behind shyness; it can be dressed up as an excuse not to look stupid. It can be found in trash talking about yourself and rubbishing what you know you've done well. Pride can be found in justification for bad behaviour, self-pity and disobedience.
Conversely the predictability, the comfort of life in the West can seduce us into state of self- satisfaction in which we forget our need of God crediting instead our 'good parenting’, or ‘hard work' rather than a generous and gracious God. See what I mean… sneaky isn't it?
As I journey I'm increasingly aware of just how seductive this enemy is. I'm so glad we can partner with the Holy Spirit asking Him to shine His love Light into areas of hidden pride and help us wheedle them out. Perhaps that song was right 'oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can...’