As I was reading Proverbs 16:5-19 today, I couldn't help but think of a story in our family which really illustrated this scripture. I told it just yesterday at a family gathering because it points out what can happen to any of us.
My father-in-law used to tell my husband and I about his attitude problem when he was a young man. It seems that his father was a "G-Man" who often brought home cars that the government confiscated from "bootleggers". They were gorgeous vehicles, but of course, only the agent was allowed to drive them until they were sold at auction. My father-in-law had a date with a pretty young lady one evening and announced to his mother and father that he planned to use the confiscated vehicle they had sitting in the driveway for his date. His father and mother told him he could not take it. Well, he objected and boldly stated that he was going to use it no matter what they said and that was that. As he started to walk towards the door, his mother, who had been silent during the outburst, quietly stuck out her foot; whereupon, he tripped and fell on the floor in front of his girlfriend. He said he was humiliated but got the point and did not use the vehicle or smart off to his parents after that.
I share this story because it fits with the verses that really stood out to me today. Verse 5 reads: "Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished." Verse 18 reads: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."
When we get our eyes off of the Lord and on to the importance of ourselves, we become losers! Jesus did not come with great show and pomp to this earth. He never demanded His way in things but always listened to the Father. He didn't go around telling people how important He was but often told those He healed to tell no one about it. He was meek, lowly, and humble. He served and didn't expect to be served. He loved without being loved first. What an example to us for godly living!
The world is tied up in self-importance. It is all about "Me, Me, Me!" We often hear those in the world remind us: "I'm so important because of.....my money, my title, my background, my degrees or whatever else." God's ways are not our ways. He does things differently. Remember what Jesus said? If we want to be a leader of men/women, we have to be a servant first. This is so contrary to our culture.
What happens when we show pride? We usually can be fairly certain that a "fall" lies ahead for us. Believe me, it is so easy for us to get puffed up and not even realize it. But when we do, we can rest assured that sooner or later, the Lord will point it out to us.
We serve a loving, heavenly Father who wants us to model the life of Christ in all we say and do. Today, we need to examine ourselves and see if we have a pride problem or a "me" centric view of life. Then, we can head that problem off through a prayer of confession and start walking in the way which pleases the Lord and brings glory to His name. Selah!
As always I delight in hearing from you, please feel free to leave your comments.