“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”-James 4:10 NIV
My stomach was in knots and I was breathing rapidly. I was so excited and nervous I could squeal. It was my senior year in high school and I was at a drill team competition. I was one of the top ten individuals picked for the title, “Miss Lone Star State.” I could feel the thousands of eyes on me as they introduced me. This was it, my moment to shine. NOT. They announced the third place, second place, and the winner and it was not me. It was my best friend. I was dumbfounded.
I had worked so hard and deserved to win. I could feel the heat of embarrassment coloring my face as my eyes were stinging with tears. This can’t be happening, not to me, not now. But it did.
I love to win. I enjoy the temporary rush of adrenaline which confirms this is the greatest moment ever in my life. And then reality hits. I lose the feeling and crave for more. As much as I love to win, I hate losing and trust me, hate is a strong word. When I lose, my head is flooded with doubt, judgment, and imaginary words which I believe are being said by others. Most of the time it is not the truth and it has taken many years to come to the realization; we are not winners- all the time.
So in my struggle for wanting to win all the time, I have had to step back and carefully look at myself. Why do I have such a need to win? Does it really make me a better person? The truth is I have had to learn how to deal with my pride and understand the bigger picture.
The simple definition of pride as described in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
Simple Definition of Pride
- :a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people
- :a feeling that you are more important or better than other people
- :a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.
Ouch. Yep, this would be me. The harshness of the words “deserve” and “more important” vividly stings my soul. I needed help and I found it spending time with God. He has taught me to accept and practice being humble.
The simple definition of humble as described in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
Simple Definition of Humble
- :not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people
- :given or said in a way that shows you do not think you are better than other people
- :showing that you do not think of yourself as better than other people
So how does God reveal this teaching to me? By accepting I am not a winner- all the time. I am learning to replace the doubts, judgment, and the imaginary words I think are from others with His truth.
- When I submit to His authority, He will lift me up and replace doubt with the confidence I am His child.
- When I submit to His authority, He will judge me and forgive me through the blood of Christ.
- When I submit to His authority, His words are what rings true and lifts me up.
My friend won and afterward, she came up to me and offered congratulations. I hugged her and felt the pain and embarrassment of losing slide off of me and was replaced with love and happiness for her. I regret ever having envious thoughts, even if it was for a short time because she won- this time.
We live in a world which is downright cruel and not fair. My faith continues to steer me in the right direction as I navigate this life journey. Whether I win or lose, I must be gracious, accept the outcome, and let it go. But the more I lose, the more I am reminded being humbled is much more rewarding than winning.