This is a beautiful woman whose paths I crossed via the interwebs a very short time ago. But since our paths have crossed, I can’t tell you how her words have encouraged and inspired me.
Her transparency and truth speaking are a blessing to any who she shares them with.
Normally I would give some background, but she can do it better, so let me me just introduce you to the beautiful Tiffany and her sharing with us about pride.
Hi yall, I’m Tiffany!
I am so excited to be able to share some of my story here today. I love the heart behind this ministry, we all have a story and God uses all of our stories for His glory!
I’m a stay-at-home mommy to 4 crazy and exciting little ones, whom I home school. I’ve been married to the man who has more than proven to be my best friend for 9 years now, and I am also a Christian blogger, a church volunteer, a friend, a sister, a daughter. But most importantly, I am a child of the One True God on a mission to pour out the grace of God on anyone who gets close enough to receive it!
I have a heart for people. It moves me to tears to see someone surrender their life to Christ. I absolutely love that moment. I also get just as excited when God reveals a new and exciting truth to someone for the first time. Revelation knowledge is true power!
There are several women in my life that have really helped shape me into the person I am today and I am so thankful for each one of them. But the one who has been the biggest influencer for me overall is my aunt. She has always lived her life with grace and love. She has been one of my biggest supporters my entire life, both now while I’m walking with Jesus, and back when I wasn’t too. She has never once made me feel judged or condemned, but always welcomed me with love. Yet, she lives such a passionate and convicting life that I have never once questioned her faith.
I would have to say that my aunt is the ultimate “good woman”. To me, the definition of a good woman lies in this simple truth, “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” To honor God in every moment while living a life of obedience, that’s our ultimate calling. I am so not there yet, but it’s my goal in this life. I want to live in such a way that non-believers will question their non-belief, and believers will seek to know God on a deeper level!
That’s a little about me, now I would love to share my story about PRIDE with you.
When I was in junior high, I will never forget the day my mother taught me a lesson that has NEVER left my memory. I had been having an issue with a girl at school who was “borrowing” my lunch money every day, but never paid me back. My mom ended up telling me that I was being used and I shouldn’t let her have any more money. Then she said, “You can forgive people, BUT NEVER FORGET what they did to you.”
Hello, Meet Pride
I’ll tell you what, those words STUCK. And they shaped my entire life after that.
In case you’re wondering, they didn’t shape it in a good way. In fact, I think that was the worst possible thing she could have said to me that day. Because from that moment forward I began a downward spiral into the deepest pit of PRIDE you could imagine.
Pride became who I was.
Every moment, every conversation, every activity… pretty much everything in my life became about me and what others “owed” to me. As far as I was concerned, I was the center of the universe and no one else’s needs mattered unless mine were met first.
The worst part of my struggle with pride was that I didn’t even know I had it. I just thought that’s the way everyone lived.
I was rarely ever able to make friends, and then when I did make some, they eventually left. But of course, I was so full of pride that I accused them of abandoning me, which really only hurt me more.
I lost jobs, I lost opportunities, I lost a best friend, and I went years without speaking to my sister… All because I was holding on to this idea that I could forgive but NEVER forget.
You know what’s really funny, is I never even considered the “forgive” part of that phrase because I was so bent and determined to get the “never forget” part right. I was purposefully remembering all the mean and hurtful things that had been done to me, and eventually, I began to sow seeds of hate in my heart…
Then I got married. Believe me; you don’t want to be battling pride in marriage. It’s extremely ugly. If you’re married then you know that your spouse is usually the one person that can hurt you the most (intentionally or not). It’s because you are connected, woven together as one flesh, so basically when you’re spouse hurts you, it’s like stabbing yourself. It’s brutal and it hurts, badly. That’s hard enough to deal with on its own, but when you add a prideful heart in the mix, it’s DAMAGING. Pride doesn’t just hurt, it kills. Its goal is to destroy everyone in its path, while destroying you in the process.If the devil can infect one heart with pride, his work in that person is done -@AmazingGrace2_8 Click To Tweet
The devil loves when people get bitten by pride. If he can infect one heart with pride, his work in that person is done, because pride is so strong, it will destroy all on its own.
I was trapped in what seemed like a never ending battle of me against the whole-world. I thought that I was so right and that everyone else just needed to see my point of view. I was unwilling to listen to anyone else. I learned one little tid-bit of information on a subject, and suddenly deemed myself an expert. And I was vicious to people because I had an angry spirit.
And then there was Grace
And then Jesus got hold of my heart. Thank goodness.
I’m not about to tell you I was suddenly delivered in one brilliant moment and my life was forever changed because that would be such a lie! I didn’t even realize God was working on me and my pride for several more years after that. But God is good, and God can do all things. He is always at work in us, even when we don’t see it.
He slowly began to soften my heart in other areas. As I grew to trust in Him and rely on Him, He began to speak to me more about pride. It’s funny because when I started to become sensitive to what God was leading me toward, I still had so much pride that I was totally blind to the fact that He was showing me pride in myself! Instead, I would seek out the pride in others, and be quick to point it out! (DON’T DO THAT!!!)
Dealing with pride is a minute by minute struggle. Most people who struggle with it don’t even realize it’s a problem, and they certainly wouldn’t admit they have it.
I was finally able to overcome my struggle when I truly began to understand two things: forgiveness and grace.Dealing with pride is a minute by minute struggle. -@AmazingGrace2_8 Click To Tweet
When I first became a Christian, I honestly and truly, from the depths of my soul, believed that there was NOT ONE THING that I needed forgiveness for. (Pride will do that to you!) I didn’t even really understand what forgiveness was. The only lesson in forgiveness I had ever had was completely overshadowed by a lesson in discord. You see, you CAN’T truly forgive someone when you’re still holding on to the pain they caused you.
I had to really understand why I needed a Savior and why I needed to be forgiven. When I read the words, “we have all fallen short of the glory of God” I finally understood. Even though I viewed myself as perfect, in reality, I was a sinner. And there was not a darn thing I could do about it… EXCEPT surrender to Jesus.
I was at a place in my Christian walk where I was absolutely committed to the fact that the Bible is right and true. So if I believed that, and the Bible said I was a sinner, then I must be a sinner (revelation!! Lol). I was forced to look at my life. And by then, I was in a season in my life where I was surrounded by people who daily took up their cross to follow after Him. When I took the blinders off of my eyes and looked around at the way other people interacted with each other, I was pretty shocked. For the first time in forever, I saw people caring for others instead of themselves, and I heard them speaking life over others instead of mean words dripping in sarcasm. I knew that I needed forgiveness. But forgiveness alone wasn’t what delivered me.
I had confessed my sin of being prideful, but I still hadn’t dealt with the fact that I was adamant to “never forget” what others did to me. So, even though I was learning that I needed forgiveness, I was completely unwilling to offer forgiveness to others. I needed to understand grace.
Understanding grace was the hardest thing for me as a new Christian. I just didn’t get it. It was explained to me hundreds of times… but I still didn’t understand it. And if I didn’t understand it, I certainly wasn’t handing it out!
Then, my husband bought me an Amplified Bible for my birthday. As I was reading it that night, there it was plain as day… “Grace (God’s unmerited favor)”. I burst into tears because I finally understood. All of those horrible, awful things I had done… the ways I mistreated people, the words dripping with disdain, the years of pride I had built up… I had no reason at all to expect a perfect loving God to forgive me… but He did.
Because of Grace. Because He loved me so much, He didn’t want me to spend an eternity separated from Him. He loved me so much that He was willing to take my punishment so that I didn’t have to. He was willing to lay down His perfect life so that I could be a rotten screw up and still find a way back to Him.
God’s grace is a beautiful, wonderful gift. There is not one thing you can ever do to earn it, you can only accept it. It will change every part of you. It changed me. Right there, that was the moment that I was finally delivered from pride, and I have never looked back.
If Jesus was so willing to give up everything for me, then how could I not give up everything I was holding on to for Him?
I had been showered in grace, God’s beautiful favor that I didn’t earn. I wanted to share that amazing feeling with the rest of the world! And the best way to show grace is through love, through kindness, through forgiveness. Aha!
Back to that thing my mom said all those years ago, “You can forgive, but never forget.” I finally knew with absolute certainty that that was a lie straight from the pits of hell! When God forgives me, He removes my sins and separates them from me as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers them no more. He forgives me, and He completely forgets about my transgressions!!! Thank goodness! How could I not have that kind of mercy on other people then?
The key to conquering pride lies in forgiveness and grace. A prideful heart thinks of itself, a forgiving heart thinks of others. A prideful heart seeks what it can get, a gracious heart freely gives.
Pride is something that has the intention of crushing you. It won’t just crush part of you and then leave, it wants to destroy every little bit of not only you, but everyone around you too. But there is always good news my friends. God has given us a way out.
It starts with receiving His forgiveness, and then accepting His grace.
If you have struggled with pride, I want to invite you to pray a simple prayer with me right now,
search my heart today. You know me, you are familiar with all of my ways, test me God to see if there is any evil in me and then lead me in the way of everlasting life. Help me Father God to recognize the pride in my life and deliver me from it. Renew my heart and my mind, O God; pour out your grace over me. Help me to be sensitive to your heart God, help me to love others with your heart, help me to see them with your eyes, help me to forgive, help me recognize moments when I can pour out grace on others. Thank you Father for forgiving me, for loving me, for giving me grace. You are my ever present help in times of trouble and right now I run to you as my hiding place. Deliver me from this evil that has tried to take me captive Father God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer with me, congratulations!! You are well on your way to deliverance my friend! I just want to close with a quick illustration about grace adapted from a story from Pastor Louie Giglio.
He was at our church recently and He was talking about a spoon and a shovel. Picture this with me for a moment. Imagine some construction workers have a shovel in a field by your house and they need to dig a huge hole. I mean gigantic, like bigger than a house. You ask for the dirt because you need it for some projects. They are happy to oblige, so they pour shovel after shovel after shovel of dirt out into your yard and before long you’ve got a huge pile of dirt just sitting there, free to use however you want. You use some of it, but for the most part you’ve got so much you just don’t need it. So, you’re neighbor comes by and asks for some dirt to fill up some holes in his yard. You reluctantly say, “Well, okay” and then you get out your spoon… and give him a spoonful while you say “I’m just not sure that you have earned more than that today…”
In our lives, God pours out grace on us with a shovel… and then we turn around and hand out grace with a spoon…
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a spooner, I want to be a shoveler!
If you are like me, you needed a box of kleenex as you read that. Tiffany is an amazing lady with an amazing story, and God is truly using her. I like to offer my readers the opportunity to follow and even reach out to our monthly features if they so chose. This is where you can find Tiffany:
I love to spotlight and feature real women with real struggles. Women who are being open and transparent about their struggles, how they are not letting those things define them. Instead they are defining their own “good”. To see more about why transparency is so important please Click here.
Interested in submitting your reflection?
Latest posts by Kenya Rae (see all)
- How To Encourage Learning Over The Summer - May 22, 2017
- How To Get Organized and Create More & Better Content - May 18, 2017
- You Should Stop Asking People “How you doing?” - May 15, 2017