The Sting of Pride

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” ~ Psalm 19:14.

My seventeen year old son recently released his first iPhone (iPad, iPod) game via Apple and a few hours later casually remarked, “You know, when you put something out there publicly, you realize just how much you care what other people think.

My son had received some unfavorable comments and it hurt my heart. He’d worked for months on this game from concept, storyline, characterization, modeling, coding and application to applying for a developer’s license and buying Unity to working through multiple rounds of alpha and beta testing to finally releasing the game for approval by Apple. I knew the whole story. I’d seen the hours invested, the months, the dedication in the midst of illness that others did not.

My son has a 27-letter long, nearly unpronounceable GI disease. He takes lots of medications, gave up many of the foods he once loved, and often fights pain and nausea. As his mom, I see what others don’t. My son is sick and never complains. Ever. He simply pours himself into something productive, something challenging, something other than himself, which is why those critical comments hurt my mama heart. My son’s game isn’t perfect, but it is an investment – a part of him – something he’s poured himself into for months, and biased or not, I think it’s well done.

I don’t really mind the criticism,” he told me later when I asked. “It’ll just make my next game that much better.

Oh, Lord,” I thought. “My son gets this and he’s only seventeen. How often do I – the 46-year old! – check the stats on my website after publishing a new story, another poem? How often do I check for comments or “Likes” on my webpage? I say that I write what’s on my heart and release the words to You to use as You choose, but do I? Really? Way down deep where nobody sees? Because if my words truly are an expression, a pouring out of Your work in my life, nothing beyond writing and releasing them should matter.”

Sigh…but it does. Somewhere deep inside, too often, it does matter, and every time it does, I sink just like the disciple Peter. When Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he stepped right out of that boat and walked on top of the water toward Jesus, but the second he looked away, Peter noticed those waves and sank.

It’s the same with me. As soon as I take my eyes off Jesus, I begin to sink. “What do others think? Will my words encourage or incite? Are they enough? Am I?” And that’s the sting of pride, because it’s not about others, it’s all about Jesus – every thought, every word, every action, every breath solely focused on Him.

So focused it breathes out when we don’t even realize it, kind of like the title of my son’s game. I’m not sure he intended it to honor God, but like his life, it does. Infinity^3 is the scientific notation for infinity cubed, reminding me of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – infinite, eternal, all. For as we learn to focus our eyes on Jesus, regardless of our situation, in spite of the circumstances, we too learn to walk trusting and unafraid.


Sam’s game Infinity^3 is available in the App Store for $0.99.

Blessed to be sharing with the beautiful women of We Used to be You today.

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9 Comments

Filed under Devotionals

9 responses to “The Sting of Pride

  1. Your son sounds a lot like mine…I am proud of him with you…He is truly remarkable. God will protect his heart…

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  2. And they’re blessed as are we! So happy to hear the pride for your son, too.

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  3. Tiffany Buege

    Thank you for these beautiful words of truth, written in love. I really needed to be reminded of this today. Please, thank your son for me as well. What a great example he is!

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  4. The deeper we go, the deeper our need, the greater the depth of His mercy! We are so blessed by His love for us. Thank you for your honesty and humility and wisdom you share, especially in this piece.

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  5. “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that” (Prov. 29:25, MSG). I fight it, too.

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  6. So awesome about his game. I hope it does well! Your words always strike a beautiful chord within every heart that comes here. Always a pleasure to breathe deeply with you.

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  7. Very nice sis..i remember when my son was 17 he will be 22 the 28th of this month..

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  8. Cindee, you echo my own thoughts lately. It is hard not to wish for confirmation from others, yet there is only One who’s confirmation really matters. Until we can sit face to face with Him, I am sure we will struggle for validation from other, in our face, sources. Blessings to your son in all his endeavors. Nothing we do will ever be accepted by everyone. There will always be the critic. And the critic (a lesson I learned this week, the same one your wise seventeen year old son recognized) is actually an opportunity to do better, spiritually as well as creatively. Kudos to him on all accounts!

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  9. Thanks for your honesty! I can certainly relate to your mother’s heart where your son is concerned and to your own struggles where your own work is concerned. As much as I like to say I’m writing for God, and that His approval is all that matters, I know I also want others to read and appreciate what I’ve written. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, if garnering the approval of man becomes our focus as opposed to honoring and glorifying God, we’re off track.

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