In a previous blog, I named and claimed my sins. Pride is #2 on my list. St. Augustine said pride was the foundation for all sin, but for now it’s staying #2 on my list.
Last week, I teed off on a good friend of mine, a member of my Circle of Twelve. At first I didn’t know why I was so upset with him. Nothing he had done or said was deserving of the tirade I unleashed on him. I quickly realized the need to apologize and ask forgiveness.
Introspection consumed the next day. Why had I unloaded on him? Looking inward, it was a harsh reality when I was finally honest with myself. I’d been consumed the day before with setbacks in multiple areas of my life. Timelines didn’t get met and people didn’t return my calls. I even misplaced by cell phone and was distanced from communication with the rest of the world. I felt attacked and vulnerable, and alone.
My first thought was, “I need to learn to control my anger.” But after examining my motives, I knew I needed to control my pride. Yes, it was the pride inside of me that was allowing me to trip over myself. Satan is devious, as his words raced through my mind: “You don’t have a husband to protect you and your father is gone. You are on your own and alone. God doesn’t really love you or he would bring a man to protect and comfort you.”
God asks a husband to protect his wife from evil and temptation. If there is no husband, then the father and the brothers assume that responsibility. In 1 Timothy 5:3-16, we learn that God reserves his special attention for widows who are left alone and Paul instructs the church to care for them. I don’t have a husband, father or brothers; I get up each day, unprotected. Some days I am overwhelmed with evil and temptations. I don’t recoil in horror, but instead, I become controlling and demanding, unleashing an angry attack on the next person that crosses my path.
So the problem wasn’t Satan’s attacks; I crashed and burned because I felt vulnerable and exposed: unprotected.
Immediately after offering my apology, I asked my friend for his help. “The next time I unleash an unexplained fury on you, say to me, “God loves you, a lot”. Stop me dead in my tracks and ask me, “Do you know that God loves you, a lot?” I need to break that cycle of pride and anger, and of feeling unprotected. I’m asking for help from Christian friends in my Circle of Twelve to remind me that God does love me, especially when I am burning under Satan’s attack.
Do you have a husband, father or brothers that protect you when Satan comes after you? If not, confide in your Circle of Twelve and ask them to guard you and to remind you just how much God loves you: a lot.