We have all heard it said at one time or another, “Pride comes before a fall.” Very, very true statement. If you have lived at least half your life and if you are honest, at least with yourself, you know this statement is true. Scripture puts it this way in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” When someone who is obviously prideful falls, especially a public figure, some people will even recognize it by saying, “karma is a bitch”. I have heard such statements said of Tiger Woods.
Looking at my own pride, I get so ashamed and remorseful. At times it is a very hard thing to see my/your/our own pride. Sometimes it can be years before we see “our pride” in certain life issues, relationships and circumstances. Sometimes, no, often it is the “FALL” that helps us see the clearest. I have learned to be grateful for the “falls” for unless we experience the “falls” sometimes we might not ever see our pride. I have heard it said that there are two roots from which all sin flows….pride and lust! I agree.
One area of pride in my adult life has been over the “successes of our children”. Yuk! When I look back, it is really ugly and hard to look at, even if no one really saw…but I am sure they did at times. Sometimes there was a false projection of humility on my part (false humility is a deep subject…no time to go there in this post). False humility happens outwardly but deep down your thoughts can actually be prideful (if you think it…it is sin….even if no one sees). Just saying.
Yep, it is true. Ugly……but true. Today I pray to see my pride, for God to reveal it to me. I want to have a truer picture of myself so that I can seek to change with God’s help. Pride is grievous to God. It is in direct opposition to the Christian walk that God desires for us to live. In the Back 9, I want my scorecard to look significantly different.
Many times God allows us to be tested in an area where we are seeking to change. A test allows for a grade which shows us exactly where we are. I am sure that tests are in my future.
It is easy to see the pride of Saul in the Old Testament. God had placed him as king and given him instructions which Saul only partially obeyed. He had victory in the defeat of the Amalekites but God instructed Saul, through Samuel, to destroy all things belonging to the Amalekites but Saul did not.
Samuel confronted Saul, “Although you were small in your own eyes, did you not become head of the tribes of Israel?” (1 Samuel 15:17). Yikes! First clue–when we rise in power/stature, we have the potential of being “self-reliant” or totally disregarding God’s hand. Samuel continues to point out to Saul…it was the Lord that gave him the position…that anointed him over Israel. Samuel asks in verse 18, “He sent you on a mission saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people,the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord?”
How many times do we take our positions, honors, gifts into our own hands? We disregard the fact that they are positions given to us by a Holy God and with those anointings (whether it be being a parent, a child, a title holder, receiving an honor, or a position) comes the responsibility to obey fully not partially. It is OUR PRIDE that takes us down the trail of “SELF-SUFFICIENCY” disregarding the One who “anoints”… and instructs.
Studying the life of Saul and where pride leads has caused me to take a long hard look at ME. Looking at how pride can not only disrupt God’s ordained plan for my life, but how it can affect the people around me. Our pride doesn’t just affect us, it affects many.
Pride cost Saul everything. 1 Samuel 15:26, “But Samuel said to him [Saul], I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel.” If you continue to study the life of Saul, you see that Saul was repentant when confronted but he DIDN’T CHANGE. His fear of man (people pleasing) got in the way. 1 Samuel 15:24, “I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.” He was more concerned about people’s opinions and reactions to him, his reputation, his personal desires with his position than he was concerned about obeying God.
It cost him his anointed position and his relationship with his children. It opened the door in his life to a jealousy that burned in him, that consumed his life. He eventually rejected God. He totally had no regard for obeying and caused the death of his three sons, his own suicide and the killing of all his men. Saul’s pride didn’t cost just him. It cost his family and those around him.
I encourage you today….take the hard…and less traveled road. Examine the pride in your life. I will just go ahead and tell you…..it isn’t fun…but the alternative is worse…..so embrace the not so fun….to not only improve your walk with Christ….but to change the whole outcome of your life and those around you. The power of one life laying down pride affects more lives than just your own. Addressing your own personal pride and “doing the dirty work” can affect generations to come.
“Pride is an independent, me-oriented spirit. It makes people arrogant, rude and hard to get along with. When our heart is prideful, we don’t give God the credit and we mistreat people, looking down on them and thinking we deserve what we have.” ~Joyce Meyer