Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 4:7’

“Please call back at your convenience and we can discuss the matter further,” the woman said.

I quickly wrote down her name and phone number, while listening to her message on the answering machine.

This is terrific, I thought, and hoped our conversation of “the matter” would prove productive.

Immediately I dialed her back, whispering a prayer that God would guide our conversation.  Then I  took a deep cleansing breath, in order to fortify my confidence.  Butterflies took flight in my stomach anyway.

Since it had only been a few minutes since R. had left her message, I fully expected to speak to her–not her answering machine, asking for name, phone number and a brief message.

That caught me off guard.  Leave a message?  What should I say?  But my brain was getting ahead of itself.  First I had to remember our phone number.

What I should have done is give R. my cell number.  That didn’t even occur to me.  Don’t ask me why.  Blame it on those pesky butterflies. Instead, the old house phone number (of two years ago) started to rattle off my tongue.  Oops.

Then a serious brain cramp seized up my memory.  Our current land-line number would NOT come to mind.  And while explaining (Does she really care?!) and apologizing for that, I frantically searched the office area for the turquoise folder on which our phone number was written in bold Sharpie.  Too bad it didn’t have a strobe light so I could find it.

After a few embarrassing moments, the folder turned up right where it should be–but hidden under some books.

I blithered my way through some sort of message, and hung up.

Oh, no!  WAIT!  I could have hit the # key and started over!  I could have presented myself as the competent and articulate person I wanted to be!  Too late.

I tried to be forgiving of myself, and recognize that complete competency would have led to pride anyway.  Had I spoken to R. with grand words strung together in fluid sentences, I know that a spirit of pride would have been right there on my shoulder, whispering:  Oh, that went incredibly well.  No doubt R. is very impressed with you.”

Pride.  That’s one sneaky sin that keeps slithering out from unexpected places.

How can I fight against it?  Paul gives a clue in 1 Corinthians 4:7.

“Who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

So here’s my plan.  I’m going to fight pride with praise.  Anytime a prideful thought comes lurking, I want to turn my mind to God Almighty who gave me all I have, including gifts, talents, and moments of success.  Without him I am nothing.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Heavenly Father, thank you for taking interest in me, for working so hard to mold me into your image.  Thank you for the opportunities–like a tongue-tied phone message–that contribute to my maturity.  The outcome you’ve promised is astonishing:  that I may be complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).  That would include humility, wouldn’t it–a trait you value highly (Matthew 5:5).  So the next time pride tries to park on my shoulder, help me remember to send him packing–with praise!

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