Jesus, you and I both know how I struggle with pride. Today, with your help, I give it up! It seems only appropriate way to start this reflective, repentant season of giving up the things that keep me distant from you, to begin with this one. (And perhaps wearing ashes all day might help in the process.)
How easy it is to shy away from the truth of how often I mess up. We want to believe we are good enough and that the things we do “aren’t really that bad”. Our pride is good at times at hiding our mistakes and failures from others and sometimes even from ourselves. It’s easy to look around our world and see people doing awful things and rather than being grieved at the injustice we are all capable of as human beings, we instead “thank” You that we’re “not like them”. Such an ugly thing–that pride! John seemed to understand this as he wrote:
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
Deceive … that’s a great word for what pride does … And I’m not sure what could be scarier than deceiving myself… unaware of how far I’ve fallen. Jesus, I’m thankful the passage doesn’t stop there.
“BUT if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
I don’t want to be blinded by my pride any more, Jesus. I’m trusting in Your justice and faithfulness as I confess my need to give up pride. Only when we own up to our faults do we experience the freedom of Your forgiveness. As I walk around today with black ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead, may it be a statement not only of my guilty pride and my confession, but also a declaration of praise to You, the One greater than all my sins.
Jesus, today, I give up pride. It seems like such a handy tool to pull out whenever I want to think I’m better than someone else or am trying to ignore my sin. But in reality it only keeps me from You. Help me give it up today remembering that from dust I came and to dust I will return, yet always in Your loving arms.
In Jesus’ Name,