“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled)” -Isaiah 2:12
I’ve always been a very independent person. Even when I was younger, I always told my parents I could do it “I by self.” I love figuring out how to do things on my own, trying to find a solution or making things work. I pride myself on my ability to blaze my own trail and enjoy the fact that I “don’t need help.” For the longest time, I’ve considered my independence to be a great asset, and it is to some extent; but have realized that it is also one of my greatest weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong, being independent is a great thing! The Lord even asks us to do it when He says “separate yourselves from them” (2 Corinthians 6:17) when He’s referring to setting ourselves apart from sinners. At the same time, independence can lead to one of the seven deadly sins: PRIDE. When we’re independent, we are doing things by ourselves, typically in our own strength. Since we’re doing it “on our own,” we tend to take the credit when we experience success- whether we will admit it or not.
In my case, my successes were experienced in school. The Lord gifted me with intelligence and I have always worked my hardest to make the best of that gift. However, I began to attribute my success to all my hard work- the long hours, the studying, giving 150%, etc., instead of giving God the glory. Outwardly, I would give Him the praise and credit, but a little part inside of me always believed that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for what I had done.
The more independent I became - not wanting to let others help me, trying to do everything perfectly, and relying on my own strength - the prouder I became. I would look back and see all that I had done. I didn’t see what He had done for me, nor did I see the gifts and opportunities He presented me with. All I could see was what I had accomplished “I by self.”
This pride is what kept me from seeing what He was fully capable of doing in my life. The thing is, it takes realizing how little we can do, in order to realize how much He can do. I hadn’t realized how little I could actually do. That was until I read Job 12. In this chapter, Job is outlining just how much power the Lord has, that He can crumble empires with one word. Can I do that? Well…no. When the full magnitude of God’s ability and magnificence hit me, I felt ashamed. Here I was, holding onto my little achievements, all proud of what “I” had accomplished, trying to compare that to what God had done. Needless to say, I felt like I was comparing my scribbles to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I was completely and utterly humbled.
But once I was humbled, I was finally able to experience the fullness of God’s blessing and provision. I realized how little I could do, and that’s when He began showing me how much He could do. I had always tried to do everything on my own, but the thing is, I didn’t have to! God wants to help us and wants us to be successful- not in ourselves but in Him. When we realize that He is the one who has gifted and blessed us so richly, we’re able to assume the correct attitude: humility.
Humility is what will keep our independence in check. Humility is what will prevent us from gaining a false and haughty pride. Humility is what will allow us to experience God’s provision to the fullest.
Raelene Harris is a spicy as they come- in her faith, her hobbies, and her style! A lover of the arts and aesthetics, she seeks to use her passions such as photography and music to glorify God and build relationships. As a 2017 intern, she is thrilled with the opportunities to expand His kingdom.