“If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too.” – C.S. Lewis
Pride has more than one side. One is the obvious straight forward side and the other is the cleverly hidden side. The cleverly hidden side is the pride of being humble. An underhanded way of pride to survive in the climate of personal failure is found in the attempt to pay the unpayable penance.
Do not drag yesterday into today as a means to openly debase yourself for the sake of those who are watching you. You are paying a debt with so much interest that it will never be paid. Even if you could reach a point when people tell you that you are free, you are trying to earn the deed to your free life from people who do not own your life. Waiting for the people around you to say that you can move forward is like paying the wrong bank for the deed to your home. They’ll take your payment, but they cannot give your life back.
After you admit your fault, rebuild the fence, and make appropriate amends, then move forward. There are certain debts that you cannot pay without the ability to go back in time and choose different actions. Any attempt to earn back your reputation and good name is only to serve a shrouded sense of personal pride. I’m specifically talking about people who run the risk of tying themselves down to rigorous religion, becoming more concerned with rules and regulations as a means to outwardly prove that the insides have changed.
The mirror is a liar.
When all of the fight and frenzy is in outward appearance, the core of the person remains untouched. You cannot earn a gold heart. You cannot perform to become. When the inside has changed, the outside has remnants. Refuse to work outward-in. Commit to an inward-out approach and keep it personal. Pride is the messenger of the soul who refuses to accept the free gift of grace.
People who have it backward end up becoming moral police and imposing judgment on everyone else. It’s a clever way of evading examination when you are pointing out the failures of others. On the other side of that, a heartbreaking way to avoid the prospect of people pointing out your flaws is to point them out for them. Stop dancing on the surface. It’s way too capricious to trust.
Not a single person on this planet would be found innocent if we were examined in a court room without Jesus as our advocate. All of the attention that a person can give to keep themselves out of court is a focus on a life where Jesus is not real. Those who understand Him and understand themselves rely on His grace as they are scrutinized. The verdict is always the same: guilty. The sentence is always going to be: served.
The scale does not measure your past against your present. It does not measure your mistakes against the mistakes of others. The scale only measures your sin, their sin, against the gift of Jesus.