«Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ » (Matthew 16:24).
Pride has the ability to infiltrate and contaminate everything, including our gifts and our calling. The enemy doesn’t really care that we’re doing the right thing. As long as we do it for the wrong reasons, he will have won the game.
Sharon Hodde Miller, an American author and theologian, confessed that at one point in her life, her calling became a mechanism for winning applause and approval. «If I can transform the ministry into something that is about me, then no calling is immune. Even the noblest and best callings are vulnerable to pride. Whether as executive director, social worker, or housewife, you can transform your calling into something that is about you» (as narrated by the author in the article «Your Calling Actually Isn’t About You.»
When we allow pride to contaminate our calling, what we loved will sooner or later not bring us any more pleasure. We will be filled with anxiety and fear. We will feel that we cannot take risks or make mistakes because it could cost us the approval of others that we crave so much. The discomfort and dissatisfaction we feel when the calling points to us, rather than pointing to heaven, is an opportunity. Dissatisfaction is a teacher that teaches us that we were digging broken cisterns instead of drinking living water (see Jeremiah 2:13). «At some point, the self-centered call will come into conflict with the Christocentric calling because Christocentric callings always lead to a cross. . . . They involve suffering, sacrifice, and looking like a fool,» Sharon wrote. At some point, we’re going to have to choose between protecting our comfort and reputation or following Christ (who sacrificed His comfort and reputation to save us). After all, Christ never promised comfort and fame, but difficulty and sacrifice.
Dear Lord, it’s so easy to look away from You and sink into pride. Save me, because I perish! Rescue me from my vanity and refine my character. Help me identify the opportunities You put in my path every day to develop humility. I don’t want to avoid those crosses; show me how to carry them. There is no crown without a cross! My calling is not about me. My talents aren’t just for me. Everything I have and what I am is for Your glory.