I’m Chris Gerlach. Husband, and a faithful follower of Jesus.
If there is one thing I know, it is that there are few things more dangerous to a man than his own pride. Pride will bring a person low. In fact, it will break you.
For 21 years I swore that I was fine. Putting on a face, I protected my ego because lying to myself was easier than admitting that I had a problem, and I was totally incapable of solving it.
Most of high school and college was spent chasing a status that didn’t belong to me. In an effort to be the king of my own heart, I became totally enslaved to the thoughts and opinions of everyone else. Pride crept into every relationship. Exaggerations, embellishments, and lies owned every conversation I had until any once of authenticity I once had was gone. All in an attempt to make others think of me as more than I actually was… Broken…
Deep down I knew that I had only fooled myself. In the midst of the sin that controlled my life, I knew the truth. It was my pride that would now allow me to feel love, and my pride that would not allow me to feel peace.
Yet day after day, and night after night I would find myself feeling broken, shameful, and terribly alone.
Fortunately, that’s not where my story ended.
In Galatians 1:9-10 Paul writes “As we have said before, I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel other than the one you received, let him be cursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
You see, Paul got it. He hit the nail on the head.
I had been a Christian for Four years. I had been in church, gone to small group, read, prayed, pleaded, yet I was hurting.
Fortunately, I had brothers around me who were bold enough to call me out, pointing me to the truth found in Galatians. My identity, my value, my worth, all these things were based on “the approval of man” and what others thought of me.
But the beauty the cross, that our identity is found in Christ, is profound. That fact that when the father looks at us, he doesn’t see social status. He doesn’t look on our list of failures and mistakes to cast judgement.
A beautiful thing happened when I understood this truth; I began to live differently. My decisions when it came to friends, college, marriage, and ministry were no longer based on how others saw me, but rather the wisdom and joy that comes in giving the Lord everything we have.
When we set aside pride and begin to place our value in how the Lord sees us rather than how others see us, we are the most fulfilled. When the father looks at us, he sees the holy, blameless, innocent face of Jesus.
What more could we ever want.