I'll be the first to admit that I love everything about journaling, from buying cute notebooks to the process of putting thoughts on paper. I've been journalling consistently for over 15 years now. It's therapeutic for me. Somehow I am more free be honest  with myself and with the Lord on paper. This is what I'd write in my journal today...

I've been feeling a lot of conflicting emotions lately, and I'm tired of it. Do you ever feel like people are judging you? I have lately. Deep down I want the approval of others. I want them to like me and accept me. It's an age-old desire most of us have dealt with since childhood. I've never been very good at the whole "well, I don't care what you think" attitude. I'm not sure if that's good or not. I often find myself changing certain things unknowingly just to fit in better. Sometimes I'll over-anylyze something said to me and get self-concious. Then I start doubting if I'm good enough. When I was in middle and high school, I thought I'd grow out if it as an "adult." Sadly, I was wrong. A few days ago I caught myself in this downward spiral. The only way to snap out of it is to get very honest with myself and realize the root of my problem - pride.

When I was little my mom started a garden. It was actually pretty big. We had 6 or 7 rows of corn, a row or two of green beans, cabbage, tomatoes and whatever else she decided to grow that year. Every few days my mom sent us out to pull the weeds. She said it "builds character" or something. We didn't believe her, but what choice did we have anyway? For a while I did the bare minimum. I just wanted to be done as quickly as possible. I hastily grabbed a handful of weeds and moved on to the next section. The rows looked ok when I was done, but the problem came the next day when all the weeds were back. I wasn't getting down to the root, so my mom sent me out again. Finally, I realized it was better for me in the long run to do it right the first time and dig deep for the root of the weeds. Pride is kind of like those weeds. It crops up all over the place, even places you think are "weeded out." You have to go down deep and pull that sucker out if you want to be rid of it. Often the roots are hidden deep under the other plants, buried under a lot of dirt and hard to find. I need courage to dig deep and find the ugly roots that have grown there.

These are just a few of the weeds that need pulling in my life today. This is me - being honest. I know I'm not the only one who struggles here, so maybe we can all be honest together.

I'm afraid to truly be joyful sometimes because I don't want others to think my life is perfect. (Pride)

I want people to like me, so I am willing to change for them. (Pride)

I'm afraid to speak out sometimes because I don't want criticism. (Pride)

I fear that if I'm successful people won't want to be around me anymore. (Pride)

Sometimes I get insecure when I am "put together" because I fear people might think I'm "to concerned about worldly things." (Pride)

I struggle with how I come across online because I don't want others to think badly of me. (Pride)

Honestly, I think I'll never be good enough for some people and it makes me sad. (Pride)

Sometimes I feel guilty for having my gifts and other times I feel too proud of them. (Pride)

Basically, I care way too much about what people think of me. I'm insecure about a lot of things. The root of all of it is pride. In the end I'm choosing the fear of men over the fear of God, and the insecurity of man's approval over the humility that accompanies God's approval. It's something I have to root out of my life frequently. As soon as I've surrendered and moved on, it pops up somewhere else. Honestly, it's not the big things that trip me up. As a whole, my garden looks pretty good, but upon closer inspection you can see where I've let the root of pride grow. It's the little lie here, the little insecurity there. I must invite the Holy Spirit to come and tend my life, to weed out my pride and plant God's truth.

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

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