“Lay down your pride and your need to be right, let love for others be the war that you fight.”
I woke up today singing this great song lyric written by a young lady named Grace Spencer. (http://spencerfamilymusic.com/)
Lay it down implies a choice. Whether in a discussion of politics, religion, sports, or nearly any other topic, I can choose to either fight to be right or to consider the other person as more important than myself. There are hills worth dying upon, but many of the arguments and discussions I choose to engage in are not worth the death unleashed. Many of the battles are simply a competition to display my “rightness.”
Of course, I think I’m right, for who willingly holds a wrong point of view? We all think we are right in everything or we would eventually change our point of view. The reason it takes any time at all to admit we are wrong once we see it usually reflects how deep the pride is in our heart. Ouch.
I have argued views I knew to be less than perfectly accurate simply to try to win a discussion. Are you married? Were you ever a teenager? How many times have we held to views and opinions simply to “save face?” We didn’t want to lose. I believe this action might be summed up in the word pride.
“Lay down your pride and your need to be right…” rings through my mind. How often have I held to the need to be right way beyond what was healthy? How much do I care what people think of me and why does it matter so much? So what if I don’t know the correct answer, is that some sort of crime? Does it really make us look weak if we admit that we are not all-knowing? Pride kills.
- James 4:6 – But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
- 1 Peter 5:5 – Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
- 1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
Maybe James and Peter were on to something. God is opposed to the proud and when God is opposed to you, you literally have no prayer. The solution, it seems, is to choose to lay my pride down before God decides to deal with it in my life. Choosing humility is far better than being humiliated.
The second half of Grace’s lyric is another choice we can make. A different war we can engage in. Love for others can be our battle cry. What would happen if we really did choose to fight the war of love? What if we took the Scriptures seriously? We all know them, but walking them out is a bit harder than quoting them:
- John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 15:12 – This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
- John 15:17 – These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
- Romans 12:10 – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
- Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Can you imagine a family, church, or world where everyone obeyed just these few verses instead of walking in pride towards one another? Loving one another just like Jesus commanded and showed us how to do it. Outdoing one another in honor and simply fulfilling the Law by choosing to love each other. What would happen? Maybe, just maybe the world around the Church would take notice and agree that Jesus’ followers are just like Him.
Lord, help me to lay down my need to be right, let love for others be the war that I fight!