In chapter 2 of Embracing Obscurity, the author (anonymous) uses the metaphor of a book to help us understand our proud hearts. Our cover art (outward appearance) is something many of us don’t have as much control over as we’d like, so, in order to draw attention, we need to come up with a title that can’t be ignored or what the author calls “a flashy subtitle”.
What’s your subtitle? It’s the thing you want to define you; the thing you bring up in conversation when meeting people for the first time that leaves them with an idea of who you are.
The author gives some examples to help us reflect – There’s Chase, whose subtitle is Successful Soon-to-be Executive, Megan: Everyone’s Best Friend, Lillian: Super Mom, Matt: Aspiring Football Pro, and Jenny: Women’s Bible Teacher.
Your subtitle is what you want to leave ringing in people’s ears, and it comes from your sinful heart that seeks to usurp the throne in your heart that belongs only to God. The author admits, “The depth of my own pride is seemingly infinite.” Like cancer, though it may seem to go away, we find when it rears its ugly head, our pride was only in remission.
What do we do, then, to choke out pride. The author gives us two prescriptions:
- “We have to admit that we can’t do it in our own strength…we have to submit ourselves to the One who humbled Himself to the point of death to rescue us from our self-righteousness and sin.”
- “We have to follow His example by heeding God’s instructions. The earthly antidote to pride, just like ever other sin, is found in Scripture.” Here are some specific texts the author gives for addressing the sin of pride:
- Proverbs 8:13 – Fear the Lord
- Proverbs 11:2 – Embrace wisdom
- Proverbs 16:1-3 – Commit our actions to the Lord
- Proverbs 16:18-19 – Live humbly and do right
- Habakkuk 2:4 – Don’t trust ourselves; live by faithfulness to God
- Luke 9:48 – Associate withe the lowly for Christ’s sake. Strive to be the least.
- Luke 14:10-11 – Humble ourselves by settling for less than we “deserve”.
- Luke 22:26-27 – Serve others
- James 4:6 – Receive God’s grace to stand against evil desires.
- James 4:13-17 – Don’t boast about our plans, but submit them to the Lord.