While I was driving recently, the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme came to my mind.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
For those who now have no idea who Humpty Dumpty was, he was a character portrayed as an egg. When he fell off the wall he obviously broke into many pieces and couldn’t be put back together again. If you still need to know more…”Google it”!
I remember thinking where did this thought come from? “Humpty Dumpty? ... come on.” As I ran it through my mind a little, I began to see a “connection”. I thought about the shattering we as humans go through many times: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My mind seemed to settle in on pride and ego, or my “pride filled ego”.
A pride filled ego can be a very powerful and even a life controlling force. We can “ride high” when it is strong and being well fed, but when it is not, we can begin to slip down into depression or even turn to rage. Most of us have experienced this personally and likely have seen it in others as well.
Over the years, I have seen many very talented people who fall into this category. You may have said or likely heard someone say: “He or she is a great person, but you don’t want to cross them (their pride/ego) as they have an ugly side.” Or: “He or she is really into themselves (who they think they are and what they have).” I remember hearing of an instance where someone ran into a person he hadn’t seen for sometime. The person went on and on talking about himself in a somewhat “braggadocios way”. Then the person finally said: “Enough about me, let’s talk about you… sooo, what did you think of my new book?” Many times at the root of this is a pride filled ego.
Some famous and or wealthy people can live a life with a “pride filled ego, high on the wall”.., and go unchecked. They can use fame and fortune to feed their pride and ego in a very unhealthy way. Many are surrounded in their outer circle with “fans” that feed their “addiction”. I call it an addiction, because it can only be temporarily satisfied, always wanting “a little more”. Some have no one that is willing or able to “speak into their lives”. Usually they are not good listeners. As I read a comment about the boss in a Dilbert cartoon: “He only listens when he is talking.” For most of these people they never really experience a deeply rooted lasting peace or happiness. Like a drug addict, they are always looking for the next high: more and nicer things, physical satisfaction, status etc. Far too often we hear of people who in the worlds eyes seemed to “have it all”, only to end their lives in a tragic way.
Back to the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, what if we said:
My pride filled ego sat on the wall,
My pride filled ego had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put my pride filled ego back together again.
If the above “modified” rhyme were true, I believe it could be a huge step in our development and relationship with God, truly a “game changer”. Unfortunately in most instances that is not the case. More often than not, we rush to the side of the person who tumbled and help with surface issues and try to restore them to their original “old self”. Little if any thought is given to the possibility of God wanting to do a deeper work of transformation in this person’s life. I think in more if not most cases, the “modified” rhyme below is what happens.
My pride filled ego sat on the wall,
My pride filled ego had a great fall.
Some of my family and many of my friends
Helped put my pride filled ego back together again.
Like many of you, I have had plenty of disappointments and crises in my life, including relational, financial and health issues. I have experienced the “thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat” many times. Over the years, I have read the Bible, Christian books and many self-help type books. Looking back, I feel many of the self-help books and even some of the Christian books only fed my problem. I feel I have gained some ground, but still have “pride filled ego issues”. I am far from declaring victory in this area. There is still a lot of John Romnes left in John Romnes.
As I have meditated on “Humpty Dumpty”, and thought about my own life and what I have observed over the years some of the things that come to me are:
When someone falls off the wall, their “short term” stability must be the highest priority. Someone’s world as they have known it, has likely come apart. In most cases, this is a time for compassion and love, independent of the circumstances. “Figuring things out” can come later….
When we go through a serious crisis of some sort (fall off the wall!), we tend to want to get back to normal, or recover to where we were before the crisis. On the surface it makes sense, we want to put the “pieces back together again”. We can prematurely or even “mistakenly” consider it victory when someone seems back to their “old selves” again. I believe there can be a natural longing to get back to what we had come to know as normal.
When a pride filled ego falls off the wall, we must remember that “ALL things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Could it be that He (God) does not want to see us quickly put “back together again and be the same person as before the fall?”
From my experience and observations, once we are stabilized, I feel there needs to be an assessment time. We need to ask God first of all: “What’s going on or went on here? What could I be missing or what do I need to learn from this? What was my part in this?” We need to ask the same question to others who we have a history of speaking the truth with. Unfortunately, few of us have “others” who are willing and able to do that, and professional help is needed. We need to have an open heart, willing to receive honest answers. This process shouldn’t be rushed, and it IS a process, as there will likely be times when we can’t face it all at once. If we can press in and on, knowing that God can bring good out of it all…our cloudy and tainted vision will usually clear. Too often serious wounds can “scab over” with the infection still remaining on the inside. In other words, the “egg” can be prematurely “welded” back together again and still be rotting on the inside. I feel far too often this can be the case.
Because of His deep love for us, I believe there are times that God “allows” us to fall off our wall of ego filled pride. He actually opposes/resists the proud (James 4:6, 1st Peter 5:5). I believe He always has a higher purpose for our “fall off the wall” experience. It is not about punishment, it’s more about development. He wants to upgrade us spiritually and make us more like Him.
We do need friends and family with the right message to help and encourage us when we fall off the wall. Outside of a personal encounter with God, lasting answers are seldom found in total isolation. Whether we are the one who “fell off the wall”, or are trying to help someone who has…our prime motivation must be to be a Father pleaser.
In the Bible there are many instances of people in a sense “sitting high on the wall”. Many of them fell and never went on
to please God. A few that had failures and later went on to please God were ….
Abraham….friend of God Isaiah 41:8
Moses….God spoke to him face to face as a friend.. Exodus 33:11
David….a man after my own heart Acts13:22
Saul/Paul…. I have kept the faith”… 2nd Timothy 4:7
Paul is a great example of a “Humpty Dumpty that God did a transformation in.
Saul means “sought after,” Paul means “little.” The name change is descriptive of what happened within Paul, leaving behind greatness in his own eyes and being content to be insignificant. This is the journey every believer must take. Footnote “e”, TPT Bible Acts 13:9.
What are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if you may be “sitting on or climbing up the wall” with pride filled ego issues…?
· Do I take pride and talk often of my accomplishments/good deeds toward or for others? Matt. 6:1
· Do I like to hear others tell and repeat my “positive” stories…?
· Do I get a good feeling when I have “more or better” than someone else?
· What kind of home would I live in, what kind of car would I drive and what kind of clothes would I wear if everyone was blind but me? (Winston Churchill)
· Do I post things on social media that are embellished to make me, my marriage, my family or my life look better than reality?
· If I post on social media, if truth be told how many of my postings have a thread of “look at me, look at me” in them?
· What value do I place on my “status or title”?
· How often do I do a good deed that only the recipient and God know about, and leave it at that?
· How do I handle public praise? Does it make me feel uncomfortable, good or?
· How important is it to me to “be in the know”, or have “inside information”?
· How do I feel or react when I am left out, or not included in what I normally would or should have been?
· When I, or my position, is challenged is my first reaction to listen for possible nuggets of truth, or to defend?
· Can I remain calm, cool and collected when I am being corrected?
· How often do I find myself smiling on the outside, and on the edge of rage on the inside?
· How easy is it for me to say “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” and not add a but or defend my actions in any way?
· Would people in my close inner circle consider me a good listener?
· Do I have a mentor, someone who knows me and some of my history, that can speak into my life?
· Would people in my close inner circle see me as a more humble or more prideful person?
· How often do I do things for people who can never return a favor of any kind?
· How often do I treat my spouse or others like royalty, expecting to be treated like royalty in return?
· Am I content to simply tell someone I love them, without wanting or expecting them to say “I love you too?”
Could a better version of Humpty Dumpty be:
My pride filled ego sat high on the wall,
My pride filled ego had a hard fall.
Stand back kings horses, and all you kings men,
God’s transforming “New Creation” is about to begin.
I believe when God puts a life back together again, it is really God giving new life. The seed of God that is planted in our life at our time of salvation contains the nature of God. Although this seed can lay dormant in our lives for years, it is alive.
The nature of God is found in Exodus 34:6, He is:
· Slow to Anger
With the nature of God comes the Fruit of the Holy Spirit Galatians 5:22-23
· Self Control
This is what He wants to develop in our lives, so we can be a reflection of Him to the world.
There are Seven Giants that stand in the way and hinder this development in our lives and I believe they all tie into “ego filled pride”.
The Giants are our desire to:
· Look Good
· Feel Good
· Be Right
· Stay in Control
· Have a Hidden Agenda
· Take Personal Advantage
· Remain Undisturbed
I learned of the seven giants from the book “Agape Road” by Bob Mumford. I plan to write separately about the giants, as this is a “GIANT” subject…!
In closing, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that all pride is evil, that is not the case. I believe there is healthy pride and the Bible has examples of it.
2nd Corinthians 5:11-12 (LB) In a sense Paul was taking pride in their pure hearts…in comparison to those who bragged about their preaching but didn’t have true and honest hearts.
2nd Corinthians 7:4 (LB) “I have the highest confidence in you and my pride in you is great. You have greatly encouraged me; you have made me so happy in spite of all my suffering.”
2nd Corinthians 8:24 (LB) “Please show your love for me to these men and do for them all that I publicly boasted you would.
Galatians 6:4 (LB) “Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have his personal satisfaction of work well done, and won’t have to compare himself with someone else.”
Ecclesiastes 3:22 … Man is to take “pride” in his work….?..!