I have two Masters.
One is my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the other is my Pride.
I love my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is so special in the fact that, though He is God, He became a man for His people. And while He was on this earth, He was called Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) and even The Friend of Sinners (Matthew 11:19). “Man of Sorrows”, “Friend of Sinners”, what a name.
And He is so dear to me. He died so that I might have life. Though He was rich, yet for my sake He became poor, so that I through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). And though He knew no sin, He became sin for me so that in Him I might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). O what a Friend I have in Jesus. He is my Sleepless Guardian, my Generous Doctor, my Wise Teacher, my Watchful Shepherd, my Constant Intercessor, my Humble King, my Faithful Friend, my Everlasting Father, my Light of the world, my Great Redeemer, my Eternal Life, the Author and Finisher of my faith, my Gracious God, my all in all. O, that heavenly song of Christ Jesus, written by Charles Wesley, is indeed so true.
Jesus, my all in all Thou art,
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The healing of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain,
My smile beneath the tyrant’s frown,
In shame my glory and my crown.
In want my plentiful supply,
In weakness my almighty power,
In bonds my perfect liberty,
My light in Satan’s darkest hour,
In grief my joy unspeakable,
My life in death, my Heaven in hell.
(Hymn: Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose, by Charles Wesley)
On the other hand, my Pride is such a bad and cruel master. He always thinks only about himself, me. I dislike him. I hate him. I do not want to serve him. I want him to be gone forever from me. But, he never wants to go. O wretched man that i am, he is far stronger than my will and my intellect. Thus, i still find myself serving him daily. I hate myself for doing that. How pity I am.
But, thanks be to my LORD and Savior, for He is a Jealous God. He doesn’t want to share the throne of my heart with my Pride. He wants to be the solo Ruler of my life and my soul. He has a very strong reason to be jealous. He has bought me with a price, with His precious blood, with His life. Yeah, He deserves that position in my heart. No one in this earth, not even myself, deserves it. Only He deserves it. And you know, He is also a Lion. So He chases my Pride day after day. He wants to destroy all of him: pride of my greatness, pride of my achievements, pride of my intellectual, pride of my strength, pride of my wealth, pride of my planning and strategy for the future, pride of my talents, pride of my own security, pride of my ministry, pride of my piety. He wants to drive them all out of my heart.
And you know what? My Pride doesn’t stand chance against my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is infinitely greater than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, and smarter than Satan. My Pride doesn’t stand a single chance against the way He moves. He is mighty to save. He is mighty to break the pride. He is mighty to humble me.
My LORD determines to get rid of all of my Pride, though it means that He has to break my heart continually. I tell you what, it is hard each time He does that. It hurts me a lot anytime He reveals my sin. It embarrasses me every single time He shows to me my arrogance, my weaknesses, my impatience, my prejudices, my ambitions, my foolishness, my self-righteousness, my fears, and my lack of love, faith, and self-control. But that’s the only way to make me humble and to help me denying myself.
O it is hard. It is very hard. But at the same time, it is sweet. It is very sweet because through all of this breaking, He increases my love for Him, deepens my understanding of His way, His plan, and His power, strengthens my assurance of His love and care for me, and shapes me to be more Christ-like so that I might be a blessing for others and a faithful servant of His.
What Dr. Tim Keller said was true. Many times, Jesus’s ways of loving me are inconvenient and even heart breaking. But, I am convinced of this: that though His love is inconvenient, it is indeed life-changing. No doubt about it.
Through all of it, He also makes me understand that, like Audrey Assad‘s beautiful song, “The Way You Move”, the hardest part and the purest way of loving Christ is not “to give” but “to give up”. To give Him something that I have is quite an easy task. But, to give up to Him, or to let Him break my heart and my pride every day, it is super-hard and yet super-sweet. It is true love. O, that I may know Him… (Phillipians 3:10)
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. For whoever desires to save his life (his own pride, greatness, life style, safety, treasure, plans, dreams, popularity, etc.) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)