One of the things I have to be very careful with is pride. We are in a world that really asks us to take pride in our work, take pride in ourselves, believe in yourself and you will go far....and the list goes on and on. For a long time I focused a lot on what I wasn't accomplishing or compared myselves to others, and I did not have very high self-esteem at all, in fact it was pretty low.
God really helped me in my weaknesses. I look over the last 30 years, and I can see where he has taken my weaknesses and with his power he has taken me places, taught me, grew me, and I have changed. The problem with this, I sometimes forget where those changes came from, pride starts to sneak through my veins, to my heart and right up to my head.
I didn't think I was ever going to be able to teach. There were so many obstacles, walls, that I could not possibly get over, and He got me over them. Not only did he get me over them, but he has blessed me tremendously in my teaching career. To him goes all the glory!
I was always a pretty shy and quiet person and in many ways I still am, but I would never imagine myself as a public speaker. That was not remotely possible. In my own power that is true. But now I have trained staff at school and in the district, presented at conferences and conventions. It blows my mind how God took me to that point. To him goes all the glory!
So, I can get a little caught up in the change in me sometimes, and I feel the pride in myself creeping in. But I know beyond a doubt, none of this happened without God. He was and is the power behind it. And he took the impossible and made it possible. He takes us places we can never imagine, because in our own power we would never get there. There is probably no other scripture I speak aloud more often than, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I am very aware of my need for Christ, but once He takes me to these heights, I have to remember not to start trusting in my own power. I have to remember not to get caught up in the pride. Our world does breed it. You get compliments and feedback leading you to believe in yourself. We need to remember to give God the glory for the things he has done. We need to remind the world where those accomplishments came from.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
When I think of a vine, I think it is the strength and the life of that plant. It is the part of the plant that will decide the height and direction. The branches are dependent on it for everything. I can cut off a branch and the vine will still survive and grow and have new branches. The branch however would not survive away from the vine. We need our vine, and we need to be thankful for the heights and directions He takes us!
May you always find salt and light in my words!