Pride Smasher

Pride Smasher

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I stood in church, looking at the people around me as we worshiped, thinking of what I knew of their trials and struggles. As I prayed for them, I thought of how so much of what we deal with is our own fault…struggles brought on or exacerbated by pride. Marriage tension, distance between friends, friction on the job. And so much of pride is just a protective facade, our attempt to create a pearl out of the things that wound us.

A picture came to mind. What if our pride facades were visible? Imagine thousands of us, hundreds of thousands who make up the Church standing like Terracotta soldiers, the funerary statues buried with the Emperor or China. Covered in a thick layer of stone-hard clay that hides our hurts, our shame, our disappointments. And then another picture came to mind. God, swooping in with a wrecking ball, smashing each clay cast with an explosive blow, one person at a time, row by row. Pieces of shattered pride flying everywhere.

And what would be left?

A mass of real, transparent, humbled people, knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” With scars uncovered we would see we are not alone. We would empathize with those who hurt like we do, free to say “I know that struggle. I’m in the same place.” We would be unafraid to reach out to the unkempt, messy, tattered people around us. There would be no pride to taint, no reputation to protect.

Sometimes humbling comes in a shattering blow–a mangled relationship forces us to admit our part, to confess our pride. The loss of a job or a house puts us in a place of sudden need and coming face-to-face with the knowledge we can’t do it all alone. But more often, God smashes tiny bits at a time, eroding pride like sandstone shrinking slowly rainstorm after rainstorm. In the end, we know we are better because of it, but the process hurts, especially if we’ve had stretches in between of thinking we were pretty okay.

My husband gave me a great example this past week when he refinished our dining room table. He raised a massive cloud of dust with the first sanding that ground off the old stain and varnish. And then another round with finer sand paper. The first coat of varnish made the table gleam. But it wasn’t ready yet. I cringed when he took the electric sander to that shiny new surface. The second coat of polyurethane gave it a soft patina. Still not good enough. The sanding began again, roughing up the beautiful surface. At least six times he repeated the process until the finish was like satin, reflecting light and inviting touch.

The wood didn’t resist the way I often do.

I’ve often wondered…who would I be if I had nothing to prove and no one to impress? What would I look like without this clay covering?

Lord, help us to not resist whatever means you chose to free us from our pride.

Becky Melby About Becky Melby

Wisconsin resident Becky Melby is the author of the Lost Sanctuary Series and a dozen other contemporary fiction titles. Married for 43 years, mother of four, grandmother to fifteen, Becky thrives on writing, reading, camping, rides on the back of a silver Gold Wing, and time with family. Connect with her at her website or Facebook.


  1. But it really hurts when God grinds off our old stains. It’s so hard to stay still and let Him do His work.

  2. Becky, this is such a powerful visual and so relatable! Oh the process, but God doesn’t stay his hand does He! And He loves us all the way through!

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