"I am the
Lion of Judah and I am inviting you to ride with Me... for only
in riding with Me will you be safe. There are many things ahead
you cannot see or even begin to contemplate. There are caves and
open fields. There are deserts and lush gardens. All
landscapes... all circumstances, regardless of how lush or barren
they may be have predators that look for unattended ones to come
by their way."
|PRIDE & SHAME
Strongholds of pride and shame can keep us wandering
aimlessly through a desert of unrest leading to confusion,
anxiety, depression and despair. This writing is a series of
proverbial insights into these strongholds.
This writing is in no way a put down towards any man - but it
is given for greater understanding of what pridefulness;
shamefulness; and egotistical spirits truly means. Most men do
not look upon themselves in this manner but as being the
"strong and brave" towards his wife. But in reality -
such thinking is only a "strong-hold" of destruction
within your marriage and must be dealt upon as such. These
spirits coming from you can be an emotional trauma for your wife
in the deepest sense of destruction towards her well being, and
her desire to stay in her relationship with you. These three
spirits: pride - shame - and ego - are the core destruction of a
marriage because there is no "humility". These three
spirits bear no fruit.
PRIDE & SHAME
Pride is not patient, it is not kind. It does envy, it does
boast; for it is - pride. It is rude, it is self-seeking, it is
easily angered, and it keeps records of all wrongs. Pride
rejoices in evil and avoids the truth. It protects for selfish
reasons, it cannot afford to trust, it is its own hope, and it
perseveres only for personal gain. (Compare to love in 1 Cor.
Man's first sin was pridefully self-centered. Man's first
reaction to his sin was shame. Shame is also self-centered. Just
like pride, its central focus is self.
Pride led religious leaders to want to kill Jesus (Mark 11:18).
In order to flourish, pride must conquer what it perceives as
And yet, it was also pride that caused men to want to raise Him
up as King of Israel (John 6:15)! But Jesus resisted them. Jesus
knew the method by which He must be lifted up in the eyes of men
(Jesus predicts His death in John 3:14-15). Scripture tells us
that Jesus "would not entrust himself to them, for he knew
all men" (John 2:24).
Pride caused the Israelite to reject God's institution of
judges in favor of a king to represent them as a nation. God told
Samuel, "it is not you they have rejected, but they have
rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I
brought them out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and
serving other gods, so they are doing to you" (1 Samuel
Pride promotes self. Shame demotes self. But, both are increases
to self-centeredness. To demote self is not to decrease self. It
is simply a different, though negative, view of self. Pride
encourages a persistent focus on self-gratification. Then, as
self becomes gratified, pride is ratified. Thus, pride becomes
the cause and the protector of selfishness. Pride encourages self
to believe that personal performance can overcome unpleasant
negative feelings of shame.
Shame insinuates to self, "Sure, Jesus died on the cross for
you, but don't you still feel shame?" Then pride exhorts
self, "Therefore, you must rely on what you have done, or
what you are now doing, or what you are able to do to feel
acceptable to yourself."
Where there is much pridefulness, there is powerful judgment:
"On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on
his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They
shouted, 'This is the voice of a god, not of a man.'
Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel
of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and
died." (Acts 12:21-23)
But, where there is little pridefulness, there is powerful grace:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that
any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything
they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to
the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them
all. (Acts 4:32-33)
Shame often legitimizes its self-centered focus by promoting
self's victim status.
Unrepentant pride and shame are circular allies. When shame is
tired of its suffering, it often turns to pride for relief. When
pride's shallowness is exposed, it often turns to shame for
absolution. Thus, they perpetuate one another allowing self to
avoid true repentance.
Shame is a great impetus for both action and inaction. Shame can
bully a person to works requiring tremendous effort or intimidate
a soul to virtual impotence. Shame resides in the relative safety
of loneliness. By avoiding honest intimate relationship, shame
shields self from the possibility of further rejection. But, by
avoiding intimate relationship, it also shields self from love.
Shame and pride are like a dog and a cat. They both determinedly
desire to be stroked.
Pride and shame are fraternal twins. Though they do not look
alike, they were born one right after the other. Pride was the
firstborn, then came its inevitable brother, shame.
Shame is sometimes the primary method of establishing and
managing religion. When this happens, pride is the governing body
of that religion.
In the end, shame will be the great equalizer for those that are
Self is the captain of the ship christened Pride and Shame.
"Sink or swim" is its motto. Through stormy seas, it
endlessly sails. It has no home port, where it may rest from the
winds of selfish determination.
Shame is a thief, stealing the treasure of life from self. Pride
selfishly buries the treasure where only he can find it.
The rich may have pride and the poor may have shame, but each is
merely vanity. They are both mirrors used to unrelentingly gaze
An attitude of worldly shame denies the efficacy of the sacrifice
of Christ on the cross and is in direct conflict with the
proclamation of scripture: "Therefore, there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through
Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the
law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1,2).
Pride looks for who's watching. Shame watches for who's
looking. Both are in bondage to the opinions of others.
Pride and shame are like merry-go-round horses; one goes up and
the other goes down, but they both keep going round and
Shame may be deep and pride may be shallow, but both are only
holes in the souls of men.
Pride and shame are the bodyguards of unrepentant self. They will
do whatever is necessary to protect self from healthy change.
Shame is like a tree with many roots underground, but very little
trunk and few branches above the surface. Pride is like a great
tree with long branches reaching upward from a portly trunk, but
very little root structure. The wind comes and blows mightily
against the shame tree. Some dead branches are blown off, but the
roots remain firmly entrenched. Then the strong wind comes and
blows against the pride tree. The whole tree comes crashing down,
with its shallow roots exposed for all the world to see. Which
tree is more resistant to the Spirit of God? The one that
displays itself boldly to the world or the one that hides itself
safely beneath the surface?
Shame for our sins was a choice Jesus once made. Jesus chose to
bear our shame by dying on the cross. It is no longer on the
menu. It is no longer available to us. Jesus ordered the entire
supply for His own use. He's keeping it all
for Himself. He's not sharing. You can't have any. If you
have some, you've stolen it from Jesus. Give it back.
It's not yours.
Pride is a whip in the hands of the arrogant. Shame is a shovel
in the hands of a fool. The shameful fool digs an emotional hole,
too deep to climb out, then jumps in. The arrogant, prideful one
lashes the fool for jumping into the hole. The shameful fool
accepts the lashing as appropriate and deserved. The arrogant,
prideful one leans back and smiles in satisfaction.
It is easy to see that having much pride is shameful. But what is
often hidden from our sight, is that having much shame can be
prideful. The person with much shame often believes that
harboring a sufficiently large quantity of shame is a necessary
self-punishment before God (and others) and a means by which he
might earn some degree of personal acceptance. In this way, his
shame has become a self-determining, self-dependent, work of
atonement, denying the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice on
the cross for his sins. This is pride.
Shame denies light to the dark places within the soul. The soul
cannot grow without the light. Shame denies air to the empty
places within the soul. The soul can not breathe without the air.
Shame denies water to the dry places within the soul. The soul
can not live without the water. Shame denies while the soul
Pride is a source of false hope. But Shame is a source of false
Shame is like a flower that grows up out of the ground and then
refuses to bloom in the sunlight. But place it in the shade and
it will open.
When we are proud of our children, is it because they did
something better than someone else's children? When we are
proud of our jobs, is it because we do our jobs better than
someone else? When we are proud of our community, is it because
we believe our community is better than someone else's
community? If we need to feel better by comparing ourselves to
others, is it because we are better than them?
Worldly shame is an active rejection of God's forgiveness
based on feelings of personal unworthiness. If you have rejected
God's forgiveness, whose worthiness have you really rejected,
yours or Christ's?
It is not easy to stop being prideful and it is not easy to stop
being ashamed. The way to stop being prideful is not by being
ashamed, and the way to stop being ashamed is not by being
prideful. Both are overcome by humility. And humility is
perfected by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is sin to believe pride and shame's definitions of self.
It is humility to believe God's definition of self. If you
truly wish to stop believing the lies; repent and God will set
you free, unto humility. You must choose to go there, but only
God can bring you.
Ego is a primal sin. Ego is the separating point between you and
the world, between you and your wife, between you and God.
The first thing you must understand, is that when Jesus talks
about His disciples, He says that if anyone wants to follow Him,
they must take up their cross and follow Him into life
everlasting. "Taking up the Cross" has been
misunderstood for centuries and taken, the majority of the time,
to be some kind of affliction, whether it's a pain in the
back, or a mother-in-law that we do not particularly like, or a
car that does not run right. These silly examples are considered
to be the cross we must bare. That has absolutely nothing to do
with the reality of the situation. The cross, which we must bare,
is the vehicle upon which our ego will be killed. This, too, is
quite clear in the "Garden of Gethsemane".
Jesus had His own will in the Garden of Gethsemane, which was
separate from God's will. But, the crucial point was that He
said, "Not my will but thy will be done". Jesus died to
Himself. He laid aside His own personal needs, wants, and
desires, out of love and obedience for the sake of His disciples,
for the sake of the proclamation, for the sake of obeying
God's will. When He did that, He was like the seed which fell
into the ground and died. That is His death. The death that He
died was not so much a death of the body, although that is
absolutely a crucial aspect of the revelation, but the death that
He truly died was even more so a death of the self will, a death
You are called to unite with Jesus. It is not enough to simply
believe that He did this or that, or to sing songs, or even write
lengthy pamphlets. No, it is essential that you become one with
Jesus. As the book of Romans makes so clear, we must be baptized
into His death and united with Him in His crucifixion, that our
old sin nature might be done away with, so that we might be
resurrected to walk with Him in the new perfected light.
You must merge with Him entirely. You must become one with Him,
so that the life He lived, you live; so that the campaign against
sin and ego which He waged, you wage; and, that the death He died
and the resurrection which He experienced both become your
present experiential reality. This is a merging of self into the
higher order. You and your ego and your own self will must become
sublimated to the point where you are willing to let God live
through you, you are willing to let Jesus live through you. This
is life beyond ego. You must be able to say with Jesus, "not
my will but thy will be done".
That is why I say that the ego is a fool, pretending to be wise
and haughty and puffed up, and is truly nothing. Now, life beyond
ego, to most people, seems to be impossible. But, there is a
verse in the Bible which I keep coming back to constantly.
Galatians 2 starting in verse 20, where Paul says: "It is no
longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me". And this is
the secret of condemnation to self. If you live your life within
the "Mind of Christ" then you will not only bring glory
to God - but also to your marriage.
Question: "How can I have the mind of
The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit
of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to
understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The
spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by
no one. "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to
instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor
Answer: In 1 Corinthians 2:16, Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13
and then makes a statement concerning all believers: "We
have the mind of Christ". Having the mind of Christ means
sharing the plan, purpose, and perspective of Christ, and it is
something that all believers possess.
Having the mind of Christ means we understand God's plan in
the world - to bring glory to Himself, restore creation to its
original splendor, and provide salvation for sinners. It means we
identify with Christ's purpose "to seek and to save what
was lost" (Luke 19:10). It means we share Jesus'
perspective of humility and obedience (Philippians 2:5-8),
compassion (Matthew 9:36), and prayerful dependence on God (Luke
In the verses leading up to 1 Corinthians 2:16, we note some
truths concerning the mind of Christ:
1) The mind of Christ stands in sharp contrast to the wisdom of
man (verses 5-6).
2) The mind of Christ involves wisdom from God, once hidden but
now revealed (verse 7).
3) The mind of Christ is given to believers through the Spirit of
God (verses 10-12).
4) The mind of Christ cannot be understood by those without the
Spirit (verse 14).
5) The mind of Christ gives believers discernment in spiritual
matters (verse 15).
In order to have the mind of Christ, one must first have saving
faith in Christ (John 1:12; 1 John 5:12). After salvation, the
believer lives a life under God's influence. The Holy Spirit
indwells and enlightens the believer, infusing him with wisdom
- the mind of Christ. The believer bears a
responsibility to yield to the Spirit's leading (Ephesians
4:30) and to allow the Spirit to transform and renew his mind
The Holy Spirit knows the very thoughts of God. The Spirit is
like a phone line from Heaven that connects us to God. All we
have to do is listen. Jesus made this powerful line of
communication with heaven possible when He sent us the Holy
We have "the mind of
Christ" because we have the Holy Spirit
dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit teaches us all things, even the
deep things of God. God will reveal Himself to you in mighty
ways. Let you be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's voice. You
will be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and you will
have access to the unlimited, all-knowing, eternal mind of
Love From Genesis Through The Revelation.
The only thing
capable of stopping the beauty of My redeeming, resurrecting
power to make all things new is your unwillingness to repent and
accept what I have done on your behalf. Do not believe that I
will condemn and therefore walk in self-condemnation, guilt and
shame. Doing this makes you self-centered and not God centered. I
sympathize with your weakness and endured every temptation. With
this in mind, keep your heart clean and let go of every stone of
self-condemnation. Let My fountain flow through you