John 15:5 (NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
One of my greatest personal, ongoing disappointments is the frequent uprising of pride. So many times each week, or worse, each day, I react to the world with my earthly prideful instincts. It seems that the world we live in has a powerful diverging influence that continuously strives to pull me away from my spiritual centeredness.
As an entrepreneur, I am consistently afflicted with the need to promote myself in order to maintain and grow my businesses. I struggle with the well-publicized notion that if I am not selling myself, daily, how can I expect my business to thrive. And, worse yet, the further I am away from Spirit, the easier it is be creative in this manner of prideful self-agrandizement.
Some might say that I am too hard on myself, that this is just the way it is in business, or that sometimes you just have to ignore your spiritual teachings when it comes to this aspect of life. I disagree. I believe this exactly what Jesus was referencing in John 15:5 in my need to remain in him.
I can't count the number of times I've learned my lesson the hard way believing that I can do this on my own. While it may appear that there is some earthly gain in my prideful efforts, inevitably there is a greater price to pay in the long run. Most often, that price is a breakdown in my relationship with Christ.
I am always amazed at how strong my relationship is and how peaceful and rewarding life is when I am pursuing Christ and the principles He has given us. And, conversely, how broken and empty and difficult life is when I am moving away from Him.
I pray today that the Holy Spirit would continuously arouse my awareness to the first mis-step I may take that leads me away from what is good, what is right and what is the truth. And I pray that I might be a forever growing branch on the vine of Life, producing abundant fruit in season and be pruned delicately for the next season of growth in Christ.