True confession? I wouldn’t choose this verse as a personal favorite. It’s so…well, negative. A cautionary word. A warning.
Good thing you wisely voted for this one. We all need a reminder of what happens when our pride goes unchecked and sends us tumbling.
Since pride is a universal issue, I’m including photos from Scotland, New Zealand, Israel, and Portugal. One wrong step, and we all fall down.
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction,…
The Lord doesn’t say pride sometimes results in destruction. No, it’s a guaranteed outcome: “If you are proud, you will be destroyed” (NIRV). A always leads to B: “First pride, then the crash” (MSG).
As I’ve said before, I believe every sin has pride at its root. This verse from Proverbs 16 brings that truth home. Pride is “the first step” (ERV) down the wrong staircase, the one that leads to “disaster” (CEB) and the inevitable “sorrow” (WYC) that follows.
Here’s the good news: by the power of God’s Spirit, pride can be put aside in favor of humility, and that dangerous descent can be avoided. At least, in theory.
…a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride begins with “an arrogant attitude” (GW) and results in ”failure” (CJB) every time. Especially this time.
Flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg on a discount airline, I could pack only 40 pounds in my checked bag, so my carry-on bag, stuffed with books, weighed a TON.
When we landed and prepared to disembark, the airline didn’t point us toward the jetway. Oh, no. They dropped a long, flimsy set of stairs from the back of our big plane leading down to the tarmac, about eight feet below.
No railing, no sides. Lots of steps. Heavy carry-on bag.
I took two steps down before the male flight attendant at the bottom saw my dilemma and started up, his hand outstretched to take my bag.
A smart woman would have stopped at that point and waited for help.
An even smarter woman would have asked for assistance before starting down.
But a foolish, prideful woman thinks, I’ve got this, and takes one more step.
Then I lost my balance. Over the side I went, carry-on bag still in hand, plunging toward the ground head first.
My thoughts at that moment were concise.
This is it. This is how I am going to die.
Seconds later I landed with a sickening thud.
Miracle #1: I survived.
Miracle #2: I could see and hear my surroundings.
Miracle #3: I had movement in my neck, back, and knees.
If I’d just let go of that carry-on bag, I would have been injury-free except for some very colorful bruises.
But I hadn’t let go. I’d hung on tight, not only to my hand luggage but also to my pride. That heavy bag? It crushed my right foot, causing permanent nerve damage.
When God tells us, “proud thoughts will lead you to defeat” (ERV), he isn’t kidding. His Word assures us, “a proud attitude brings ruin” (EXB) and “an arrogant spirit gives way to a nasty fall” (VOICE).
It certainly did that day in South Africa.
God is ever faithful. By his grace, he allowed me to live and gave me the strength to walk again. But my three crooked toes are a constant reminder that “If you are proud, you will fall” (NIRV).
The lessons I learned? Be humble, not prideful. Ask for assistance. Accept help when it’s offered. Be grateful when you are rescued. Very grateful. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).
Bless you, Lord, for catching me, for sparing me, for teaching me. Forgive me for my foolish pride, for my stubborn attitude, for my unwillingness to admit I needed help. Thank you for a tangible, visible reminder that, “the bigger the ego, the harder they fall” (MSG).
Now it’s your turn
- When has pride plunged you headlong into disaster?
- What did God teach you in the process?
Bless you for taking a moment to share your thoughts under Post a Comment below.
Thanks SO much for your patience regarding this week-late post. While touring Scotland, I discovered that high-speed Internet in the Highlands is not easy to come by! Now that I know where I’ll find it (and where I won’t), next week’s post should arrive on Wednesday, as promised.
Meanwhile, we had a fabulous time with Group One. Group Two is arriving today! I hope you’ll follow our fun journey on My Scottish Heart on Facebook.
Your sister, Liz