Swallowing Your Pride at the Thrift Store

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:00 PM

First you need to know this I do not enjoy the thrift store scene. I am also not a big fan of the garage sale but that is a whole other subject. People always tell me what great deals they find and even my own family enjoys going but it is just not for me. My family knows this thus they do not bother me with request to go.

So it was with some surprise that my wife came home from going to the store the other day and told me about what was going on at the local thrift store and wanted me to go with her. The store was closing down and they had all there clothes thrown out on the sidewalk with a sign that said they were free. She wanted to go but she was insisting that I go with her.

We did not need the clothes we are fine in that area but our church was having a clothes give away this weekend and it would be great to gather some more clothes. With that thought in mind we jumped in the car and headed that way. When we arrived sure enough there was a big pile of clothes just waiting to be rummaged through, so we got to work.

At first I must admit that I felt really uncomfortable. There I was in my own neighborhood I had lived in for years and was digging through a bunch of clothes on the sidewalk of the local shopping center. I was thinking what if someone drove by and watched me digging through these clothes. What would they think?

Then there were those who were walking by and looking over at my wife and I. I was down on my knees just picking through the clothes and handing the good ones back to my wife who would do a double check to make sure they were in good enough shape to give away. After a while we had a big stack of clothes, who knows what people were thinking.

For some reason Kim and I felt the need to go in and tell the owner who was cleaning out his store that we were collecting all these clothes for a church event. As if telling him what we were doing would justify us taking a big stack of clothes from the sidewalk. Why were we worried, the clothes were free in the first place! He just looked at us and acknowledged we spoke to him but you could tell he could care less what we were saying or he didn’t believe us.

As I got to thinking of my attitude about this whole affair I came to one conclusion: I have a lot of work to do with some of my spiritual attitudes.

It is obvious that my biggest area of work is in the needed area of pride. My pride was on the line while I was on my knees. I was worried so much about what others would think that it made me slow to jump in. My reputation was on the line. Eventually I got over it but it took some time. When we are worried about what others think of us or what we are doing it slows us down in doing good and sometimes keeps us from doing it at all. At first my pride almost got the best of me and kept me from going even though without question it was what needed to be done. Let me assure you this, you can not do what God wants you to do if you are worried about what others think of you or what you are doing.

If it is for God we are to just do it and not worry about our pride and reputation. After all in that situation it is not God’s reputation we are worried about it is our own.

The good news is this, after about ten minutes or so I was right in the middle of those clothes. People were walking by and I could really care less. I knew that these clothes being here on this sidewalk was a God thing, something that He had provided. Once I got my head on straight and remembered who and why I was doing it, then what others thought or how it looked did not matter.

God is all about putting you in places you don’t want to be, doing things you don’t really want to do to teach you things you really need to know.


Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

Isaiah 2:11, “The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Prayer: Dear Lord, where we have pride humble us. Help us to see things in your light, as you see them. Have us not to think to highly of ourselves but to always be available to bow low and serve others in your name. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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