I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power. I Cor 2:3-5
I was watching television news when the call came on my cell phone. One of my patients was just letting me know that he was not coming for his appointment the next day.
“Dr. Lynch is sending me to another doctor who has had more experience than you with this kind of problem.”
He was nonchalant as if this made perfect sense, though I knew the new doctor and knew that his expertise was less than mine. I started steaming inside, not so much at this patient, but at the nerve of Dr. Lynch to refer one of my patients away.
“I wish you well with this new doctor, John; but don’t think you are going to him because he has more experience!”
Why does this beast of pride keep waking up when I know that it should slumber forever? I have given my life to the Lord and live for Him. I know that personal pride can destroy my witness; but here I go again. God cares that I do the best I can do to help others as a doctor, but He doesn’t need for me to compare myself to others in order for Him to be glorified. In fact, it works the other way.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong…therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’ ” (I Cor 1:27-31) But here I go, trying to appear wise and strong compared to other doctors.
Obviously, I missed an opportunity to show Christ to this patient. How can I do better next time?
When Roman emperors entered their city in triumph after a great victory, as the whole city erupted in praise, they would choose a slave to stand behind them and whisper in their ears, “You are but a man.”
As I walk through my day, trying to allow Christ to shine through me and suppressing my pride, perhaps it would be good to hear the Apostle Paul whisper into my ear, “You have already died.”
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives within me. (Gal 2:20).
Dead men don’t need to defend their pride and Christ can do fine all on his own.
Please empty me of pride so that my face does not obscure the face of Christ,