Grief, Pride, and Scraping

One definition of scrape: to push or pull a hard or sharp instrument across (a surface or object) so as to remove dirt or other matter.

I feel that God is scraping away a thick layer of pride from my heart. I don’t like it and I am also grateful for it. I’ve sensed this now for several months. I don’t usually cooperate with Him when He’s teaching me humility. That’s when the painful scraping begins… when I’m fighting against Him. When I’m not trusting Him. He wants me to hold still and trust Him – if I submitted, the scraping wouldn’t be painful at all. Instead I’d begin to see glimmers of something lovely underneath. Something I’d know was clearly not of my own making. I’d even get excited and say, “take it all! Remove it! I want to be rid of this filthy layer of pride, autonomy, and judgement!”

Two of the best books I’ve ever read about humility are Andrew Murrays “Humility” and Thomas Jones/Michael Fontenot’s “The Prideful Soul’s Guide to Humility.”

Chapter 9 of the Prideful Souls Guide says God will bless my humble response to biblically based input from others even if the input I am given should turn out to not be the best. If he/she is missing the mark, that will become evident without me having to be defensive. I would be wise to listen, pray and seek to learn something about myself. 

I have found my grief and my loss are something I take pride in. Gross, right? There are many loving, wise, well-intended friends who try to journey with me but I dismiss them because “they just don’t get it.” What would it look like to respond to their loving attempts to journey with me in humility? It’s easy for me to be defensive and justify why it’s okay to dismiss certain people… they’re condescending, they think I’m weak. I’ll show them how capable I am! Often, usually, okay maybe even 99% of the time, their words are well-intended. Can I set aside my pride? Rather than dismissing them can I listen with gratitude? When needed, can I gently correct or clarify in love?

Eph 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This scripture is for people I snap at, right? They should be patient and humble if I’m hurtful. But this scripture doesn’t apply to me, right? I’ve been wronged in a big way – my boy is gone. So that means I have “the right” to not be patient and humble with others as they attempt to journey with me? Well shit. I don’t like this scraping of my pride.

4 thoughts on “Grief, Pride, and Scraping

  1. Very interesting topic, Denise–one I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. And I noticed it from other mothers who have lost a child to suicide: “my pain is the worst pain”, “nobody who hasn’t been through this could ever understand”, surprise that anyone could even think they could help, a sense of smugness–like we have won the contest of who gets to hurt the most and have the worst loss. Humility is what is needed here.Thank you for reminding me!

  2. Having lost parents fairly early and within the same year, I was quite fascinated by the reactions of people (some close friends) that have yet to lose anyone close. In chemistry there is a little saying “like likes like”. This has to do with bonding of elements or substances that have things in common. When good people cant directly relate, but want to help, it can be like a nice mixture of oil and vinegar. This salad dressing once shaken seems fine but within a short time starts to separate because this mixture does not really bond. Was this frustrating?? A-Men. I was thankful for a handful of friends who understood James 1:19 to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I also realized I was a master of pushing people away at will and totally forget James 1:19 go straight to Jeff 1:1 which says people are idiots and quite odd. Ouch. God found a great way to teach me how to listen through prayer ministry. It is a humbling experience and continues to teach me about my own pride issues.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

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