Selfishness & Pride
July 5, 2007
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
1 John 2:16
I apologize for the long post — I rarely share something like this on this blog. But I’ve got to.
I’m learning a hard lesson. You see, I want some furniture for our living room. I’m tired of waiting for the bedroom to get painted so that we can move our bed from the living room to the bedroom. I’m tired of sleeping in the main traffic area of our house. Oops, sorry, let me back up for a second.
Last October when my husband and I thought we were going to move out to the country, we packed up most of our stuff and put it in storage. This gave us an opportunity to basically take everything out of our house except the bedroom set and TV. But when we decided that this moving was not a good thing, because my husband was never at the “other” house (2 hour drive one way to work for him), I moved back home permanently in January. However, our stuff didn’t move back home permanently because we believe that we should paint the house and make repairs before everything is brought back in. Well — here it is 6 months later and still no painting has been done and the only thing repaired is a partially completed floor in the kitchen – partially because the trim is still missing around the perimeter of the floor.
Over time, we have moved in a new computer table, a computer, a printer, a love seat (from my parents), a large TV and miscellaneous items. Needless to say, the majority of our possessions are still in storage.
Well, yesterday, I went with my mom and dad to “The Dump”. It is a furniture place with deeply discounted furniture. As we are about to leave, I spy a very nice chaise couch, chair and loveseat for a very nice little “price” (to the tune of $2109.79). I immediately asked my mom and dad to look at it and I ended up purchasing it on a whim.
Here is the hard part — I bought it without doing some things — the most important of which is — I didn’t ask God because I thought he would say no. I now know why I believe God would say no because of the following:
- We don’t have the money yet.
- I didn’t ask my husband.
In this age of “instant” money, my husband and I have been working hard at paying only by cash. Although we don’t have the money now, we should by the time the American Express bill is due. Now, I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty stupid idea to buy something when you don’t have the money yet. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Okay – end of that part after beating myself silly.
Besides not asking God, the next part affects me just as personal. My husband and I have both talked about speaking to each other before we make any major purchases. My husband has been very good about this. When he asked for a used motorcycle, which was $700, he asked me. Of course, I said yes, but he did ask my opinion. Now looking at myself, I didn’t give him the same courtesy at all – no way — no how. I was concerned with what I wanted right then and there.
There is an issue that God is teaching me and it hurts. It has to do with selfishness & pride.
Selfish – (adj.) – 1. concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. 2. Arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard for others (a~act) – selfishly, adv – selfishness n
Pride – (n.) – 1. the quality or state of being proud; as a) inordinante self-esteen: conceit; b) a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c) delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. 2) proud or disdainful behavior or treatment: disdain; 3) ostentatious
Most of my adult life it has been — my way or the highway. I believe that my selfishness was one of the causes in two failed marriages. By God’s grace, this marriage is so much better than the others, which I believe is because God has been in my life actively since September 2001. But another reason is my husband. He has taught me so much. For me not to honor him in this transaction was not pleasing to God at all.
I wrote this in my journal today:
Anything that causes you to be prideful is not of God. It must not be possessed for it is destructive. It is not unselfishness, but selfishness. Wanting something without seeking the LORD to see if it is in His will is selfishness. It [selfishness] does not want to ask God if it is okay – because in that person’s heart they don’t want to ask for fear that they will be turned down. This is not the right path. The right path is unselfish. It is patient. It does not demand its own rights. Pride is inpatient. Love asks, it does not demand.
So, I will call them today and cancel my delivery and see if I can get my full amount back that I charged to my credit card. It says that I am subject to a restocking fee of 15%. If that is what it will take for me to learn a valuable lesson so be it. But, I’d rather give it to someone to be able to provide for their needs.
It’s a hard lesson. Don’t go through it. Listen to the Spirit within you that God has given you. Be reactive to it. Don’t try to stuff it out with a pillow or in my case — a couch, love seat and chair….