Sun and mountain range

The Correlation of Pride and Control

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Recently, I’ve been working through the book of Proverbs, digging into the immense wisdom contained therein. When I read Proverbs 16, I was amazed at how thoroughly it emphasized God’s sovereignty. Our God is a good, perfect, righteous, and holy King who rules with perfect peace and justice. He only desires the best for those living in his KingdomHis answers, his decrees, and even his punishment are all functions of a good God who loves his people.

This is a hard concept for us to understand because people let us down all the time. We expect that person to be with us through the rough patches but they shy away in times of trouble. We expect our leaders to govern with justice, integrity, and honor, but they often fall from grace in a spectacular fashion. We expect our loved ones to respond to us lovingly but even their most sincere attempts can come up short.

Do you trust our perfect God? Or do you expect him to let you down?

I’m constantly setting low my bar for relationships. I always expect to be let down or disappointed by others. I’ve found that if I go into a relationship with that mindset, I am less likely to be crushed by the disappointment later onwhich is a truly depressing way to live. My lack of trust has permeated most every relationship, including my relationship with God. The hard truth is, at the end of the day, the only one I naturally trust is myself.

As I’m thinking about this, I can’t help but ask myself: isn’t that the same pride issue that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven? The same thought process that led Adam and Eve to doubt God? And the root of so many of our relational issues today?

Rereading Proverbs 16 sets me straight when I’ve drifted away from Truth.

When I begin to get too big for my britches and focus on all that I can do and control, Solomon’s wise words bring me back to the simple fact that I am not in control. I am not the center of the universe and I’m certainly not the one who holds it all together. And that’s a good thing.

While it’s a little jarring at first, it’s also incredibly comforting because I’m not qualified to control everything. I like to plan as much as possible but, at the end of the day, I can’t see everything. I don’t know what another person is thinking or feeling or going to do. But God does. I can think of so many plans that I’ve made that I thought were brilliant that he told me not to do because he had something better in store for me. I’ve been so glad, looking back on the times I obeyed, because he really does know better than I do. The times when I willfully disobeyed, thinking I was smarter or wiser or just stubborn, I’ve regretted it.

I’m by no means perfect at submitting my plans to this perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, and sovereign God, but I’m seeing growth in this area of my life. I’m learning to submit to him and trust him even when I don’t know what’s happening. I’m discovering that a heart posture of trust in our benevolent King is the best way for me to live!

What stands out to you in Proverbs 16?

How do you respond to our sovereign God?

To go Deeper: Check out His Story, Watch Disappointed


Disclosure: some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

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3 comments

  1. It can be difficult indeed to invest in a friendship and receive nothing in return…but I imagine we treat the Lord that way at times. I try to keep my expectations of others low, but not in a judgmental way. I just expect them to be human, and then I can let things go if it doesn’t work out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s all about staying in that sweet spot where you still love people well without falling into cynicism, a skill that I have yet to master. There’s an art to holding things loosely that I’m still figuring out day by day.

      Liked by 1 person

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