So Much More Than Words 

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  • ckstubbswrites


As I sat in my corner, thinking about the next emotion that I wanted to write about, I wasn’t expecting the Holy Spirit to whisper the word “pride” in my heart. As soon as I heard the word, I cringed. For a long time, I didn’t fully understand pride. I always felt like prideful people were simply those who were arrogant and full of themselves. While arrogance and haughtiness is a result of pride, as I matured in my walk with the Lord, He has shown me that pride can emerge in many different ways in our lives. The thing with pride is that it is often the root cause of many major issues we face. Many insecurities are birthed from pride. Rebellion is birthed from pride. Arrogance is birthed from pride. Pride is like a sickness that can slowly kill you from the inside out, if left untreated.


As followers of Christ, we never want to believe that we are prideful. We never want to admit that we struggle with pride, because God calls us to be humble. Jesus was humble, and of course, it is our goal to be like Jesus. However, I’ve found that the first step to healing is to admit that you have a problem, and if we’re honest, we’d admit that we all struggle with pride in different ways. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the subtle ways that pride creeps into my life. I was reminded of Proverbs 3:7 (NIV) which tells us, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” My own pride reveals itself whenever I become wise in my own eyes. It makes an appearance whenever I believe that my way or my plans are better than God’s plans. It emerges when I willingly ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit and instead do what I think is best in a situation. How many times have you fallen victim to this sin? How many times have you leaned on your own understanding and did what you think is right instead of listening to God? Our disobedience in these moments are a result of pride.


As I spent time with the Holy Spirit reflecting over my life and my walk with Him, I’ve been confronted with the reality of my own pride. As painful as it was, God revealed to me the areas that pride has creeped into my life, and as a result it was keeping me from truly living in the fullness of what He has for me. When I was confronted with this sin, I mourned. I felt grieved because I realized that not only had pride been keeping me from truly fulfilling my purpose, it had caused me to drift away from God without even realizing it. I began to lean to my own understanding instead of seeking His guidance and direction. I began to water down God’s word with my own opinions because of my own pride. When the Holy Spirit revealed this to me, I cried out for forgiveness and I repented.


Being confronted with your sin is never a fun experience. It cuts deep. However, being made aware of my pride has rescued me from drifting even further away from the Lord. It has opened my eyes to the importance of constantly going before the Lord and asking Him to purify your heart and to show you anything in you that is not of Him (Psalm 139:24). I am grateful to God for showing me how dangerous pride really is. I encourage you to ask the Lord if there are any areas in your own life where you may be struggling with pride. I truly believe that as followers of Christ, we don’t take the sin of pride seriously enough. We know that there are areas in life where it is present, yet, we ignore it because it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. I have come to tell you that it is. Satan was kicked out of heaven because of his pride. King Saul was rejected as king because of his own pride. There are so many more examples of people in the Bible who were destroyed because of the sin of pride. Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” I don’t want to fall, and I don’t want you to fall. Let us go to the One who can help us to stand firm and be free from the sin of pride. The beautiful thing is that He is always willing to help us in our time of need.


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  • ckstubbswrites


Whenever I think about the feeling of uncertainty, I imagine myself walking on a cloudy path. On this path, I can see my feet and the road that I’m walking on, but I can’t see what’s up ahead. I conjured this image in my mind one night as I thought about how I sometimes feel in this season of my life. I feel uncertain about many things, and most days, I genuinely feel like I’m walking along a cloudy path, not sure of what is up ahead. Have any of you ever felt this way? I’m sure you have. Truthfully, I think that we all wrestle with feelings of uncertainty at some point in our lives. We feel uncertain that we will get into the school that we want. We feel uncertain that we will ever meet a significant other. We feel uncertain that we will ever feel healthy again if we’re walking through an illness. We feel uncertain that things will work out in the way that we hope for. Uncertainty, in most cases, is a part of life. As human beings, we can never be truly certain about everything in our lives. We cannot predict the future, nor can we predict just how things will pan out in life.


Lately, I’ve found myself feeling uncertain that any good can come out of my current circumstances. I wish this wasn’t the case—but, it is. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like this everyday. I do have good days—those days when I am certain that God will use everything that I am walking through for His good and His glory. However, I also have days when I find myself struggling—when the weight of my circumstances bear down on me. As I walk through this season of uncertainty, there are things that I am learning and practicing—truths that have kept me grounded, even on those days when I feel weighed down. I want to share them with you.


1. Uncertainty is normal. One thing I had to accept is that I’m not a bad Christian because I sometimes struggle with uncertainty. God isn’t going to condemn me because I struggle some days. Like I said before, experiencing moments of uncertainty is a part of being human. What I am learning to do in the midst of my uncertainty is take it to God. I talk to Him about it, and I ask Him for help to keep walking along the cloudy path, even though I’m not quite sure where it leads. If you’re struggling with uncertainty, remember that it is normal and you don’t have to bear it alone. Take it to God.


2. You can find certainty and assurance in God’s word. For the past week, I have been meditating on Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) which says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” The more time that I spent reading this verse, God helped me realize that the one thing we can be certain about is His word. Life is uncertain. Things can change in the blink of an eye. However, God’s word will never change. We can always find assurance in His word. We can always be sure that His word is true and it is certain. In the midst of my uncertainty, I am learning to cling to the word. Some days are harder than others to do this, especially when the path of uncertainty not only seems cloudy but also dark. Yet, I still choose to cling to the word. I search with desperation for scripture verses that I can hold onto. Scriptures that will give me hope. When I seek refuge in the word of God in the midst of my uncertainty, I am always reminded that although I am uncertain about what’s next, I am certain that God’s word is true and I can hold onto His promises.


3. Uncertainty prompts you to trust God. I think this is the greatest lesson I have been learning in this season of uncertainty—to trust God in the middle of my uncertainty. To trust that just like the Psalmist David says in Psalm 23, even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil—for Thou art with me. In this season of feeling uncertain, I am learning to trust God despite not knowing what is up ahead. I am learning that I have to hold on to Him and His word, despite how things seem right now. I have to trust that He is who He says He is and that He will take care of me. I have to believe that His promises for me are true and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).


This season hasn’t been an easy one. Walking through uncertainty is difficult, however, when we take it to the Lord, He helps us. He teaches us valuable lessons about life. We learn to seek assurance in the word of God, and we learn to trust Him more. I still have days when the weight of my uncertainty bears down on me, but I always turn to the Lord. If you find yourself struggling with uncertainty, I want to remind you again that it is a part of being human. You are not condemned. You are not a bad Christian. In fact, God can use this season of uncertainty to teach you, and mature you in ways that you never thought you could.



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Betrayal.


The word itself sounds just as brutal as the feeling. You know how certain words just automatically brings an image to mind? Well, when I hear the word “betrayal,” I see a person left alone on the floor with a knife stuck in their chest. Left to die. A person undeserving. A person who didn’t see it coming. A person outwitted by their eagerness to love and open themselves up to a world that can’t reciprocate such loyalty and care. Betrayal is deep. It’s a pain that pierces your soul. It’s an exchange of trust for brutality. It fractures loyalty in such a way that repair seems almost impossible.


However painful, there are lessons to be learned from betrayal. Working through my own experience with it, I’ve gained wisdom that otherwise I would not have.


1. Betrayal hurts because it always comes at the hands of someone you trust—someone you least expect it from. We expect our enemies to act recklessly toward us. We never expect it from our friends. We expect strangers to treat us with contempt; we never expect it from people who once feasted at our tables. This experience is not unique to you. All throughout history people have been betrayed. It didn’t start with you, and it won’t stop with you. Jesus was betrayed by someone who walked with him throughout his ministry. Someone who saw the powerful things he did—someone who saw him heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the 5000. Someone he broke bread with. Joseph was betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Can you imagine your own brothers plotting to kill you? Can you imagine being sold by people who should be biologically hardwired to love you? Betrayal is not a new phenomenon, so stop constantly asking “Why did this happen”? Instead, recognize that it can happen to not just you, but anyone. As long as human beings exist, unfortunately, betrayal will.


2. There’s always a lesson to be learned from instances of betrayal. Allow yourself time to mourn, but don’t let it leave without gaining something from the experience. What have you learned about yourself? What have you learned about the kind of people you want to be surrounded by? What have you learned about boundaries? Sit with your betrayal and garner wisdom from it. It will pass and time will heal, but you want to take that wisdom with you as you continue your journey throughout life.


3. Forgive and move on. Yes, sometimes people do things unintentionally that end up hurting us, but it’s their response to what they do that matters. If the person is unapologetic, then that’s really not someone you’d want in your life long-term, regardless. Maybe the betrayal was a gift. If that’s what came out of them, imagine what’s inside of them. Deep stuff. Forgive and move on with your life. There’s really no desire to stay there long-term. There’s really no desire to demand justice. There is an entire life to be lived ahead of you. There’s life after betrayal. Learn the lessons and love on. You resolve to be a better person. You resolve to not treat people the way you were handled.


Ultimately, if you’re dealing with feelings of betrayal, remember that betrayal has a price. God honors loyalty and faithfulness. It’s all throughout scripture. Vengeance isn’t ours to give though, God is the judge. God is a just judge. He never wants us to get our hands dirty or to be burdened by what another human deserves. Cast your cares on God and accept His peace and freedom instead. You can do this by simply shifting your focus. Instead of ruminating over what happened, focus on the good in your life. Instead of staying stuck in that place of disappointment, flip the script and focus on what you’re grateful for.


Betrayal is a vile thing. It is so important that we treat people how we would like to be treated. We must always remember that the seeds we sow will always bear fruit. Ensure that you live in such a way that the fruit you reap is sweet and juicy. Sow good seeds.


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Guest Article Written By: Lashanté Stubbs


Connect with Lashanté on her Instagram account at "shantestubbs"




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