Girlfriends in God - June 26, 2007


June 26, 2007

Pride and Chiggers

Mary Southerland



Today’s truth

Romans 12:3b “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (NIV)



Friend to Friend

I have heard it said that the bigger a man’s head gets, the easier it is to fill his shoes. It is not wrong for Christians to recognize and even applaud gifts in their own lives and in the lives of others as long as we remember that spiritual gifts are ours to manage, not to own. But if you are like me, my pride can draw attention to those God given gifts and tempt me to take credit for their existence and the way in which they are used.


I tend to find worth and identity in what I do – not who I am in Christ. As a result, my actions are sometimes intentional, planned with the thought of drawing the attention of others in a vain effort to establish self-worth. I know. Pitiful, isn’t it? It is actually the choice of my old nature, allowing sin to reign. The solution is to choose grace and humility over pride and arrogance. Pride vanishes beneath the loving gaze of our Father who simply longs for each one of us to see ourselves through His eyes – no more and no less.


A famous explorer in South America was once forced to abandon his journey by an almost invisible enemy. The voyager was equipped to meet leopards, serpents and crocodiles. They proved to be no threat, but what he had failed to consider were the tiny insects called chiggers. They are so minuscule that in North America we call them the "no see-ums." Someone composed this poem about these tiny invaders:


“Here's to the chigger, the bug that's no bigger

Than the end of a very small pin;

But the itch that he raises simply amazes,

And that's where the rub comes in!”


Pride and chiggers have a lot in common. Pride attacks in little ways, unseen actions, subtle thoughts or inconspicuous comments. Unguarded attitudes and random thoughts are prime breeding grounds for pride. We must take charge of those thoughts and discipline our attitudes while training our thinking processes to give up and obey God.


We are in a war for the control of the mind. The thought life is the frontline of battle for every believer. Paul recognizes that truth and in 2 Corinthians 10:5, urges us on in the battle, “We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (NASB) To take something captive is a military tactic that we would do well to employ because the harsh reality is that when it comes to our thought life, we are in a mighty war – every minute of every day. We allow sin to crawl into our minds, grab hold of any undisciplined thoughts floating around and fling them into our hearts as attitudes laced with burning arrogance and prideful perceptions of who we are in comparison to others.


We can change our lives by changing the way we think. We can crucify pride when we remember that we are children of grace and choose to walk in that grace. We can dictate our heart attitudes by fixing our thoughts on God and His truth. The result is peace, which stands against pride, electing humility instead. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT) Right now, make the decision to fix your thoughts on God and His truth. Choose to keep your gaze on Him and your glance on everything else. Do not surrender your heart and mind to lesser things, friend. You are a daughter of the King! You are a child of grace!



Let’s pray

Father, I am so guilty of pride. I want others to acknowledge me, to applaud my efforts and feed my ego. But right now, I choose against pride and turn my heart, my thoughts and my steps to You and to Your gift of grace. Help me to walk as a child of grace, to be known as a daughter of the King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Now it’s your turn

Read the story found in Luke 7:36-50 and answer the following questions:


  1. What was the woman seeking when she came to Simon’s home?
  2. What was Simon’s reaction to the presence of this woman? (Note that when a Rabbi was invited to someone’s home, anyone could stop by and listen to the conversation.)
  3. Describe the significance of the woman’s gift described in Luke 7:37.


The alabaster jar was small, very common and of little value; it was the substance hidden inside that was precious. The perfume was the woman’s most costly possession, very expensive but very necessary in her line of work as a prostitute. She could have put a small amount on the feet of Jesus and it would have been a great financial sacrifice; but she brought it all and gave it all in total abandonment.


  1. Read Luke 7:38. In regard to humility, what is the significance of the words “she stood behind him”?


  1. Read 1 Peter 5:6. What is our reward for choosing to humble ourselves before God?


  1. Read Luke 7:40-43. In your journal, write a brief summary of this parable. What was the reward for this woman’s humility? What does that say to you about forgiveness?



More from the girlfriends

I must admit that this devotion was difficult to write. It is too personal! And I believe that as long as we are on this side of Heaven, we will battle pride. The important thing to remember is that we battle it together, in prayer, in accountability and in a vital, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Sharon, Gwen and I love you and are praying for God’s richest blessings in your life as you realize more and more what it means to be a child of grace.



For more on this topic, see Mary’s book Sandpaper People and get her CD, The Chosen Woman.

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Originally published Tuesday, 26 June 2007.