Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. ~ Proverbs 16:18
Today’s verse is one that my friends and I would quote to one another in humor after we tripped or stumbled. “Oh! ‘Pride goeth before a fall’!” We would then laugh, while trying to hide our embarrassment. But the verse that I used as a joke as a teen, became deadly serious to me as an adult. I found these words to be painful and true. I would catch myself becoming over-confident in some area of my Christian life only to be trapped by my sin in a humiliating way. I’m too embarrassed to share details, and I’ve been forgiven anyway, but most of the time I was humbled because of my words. I have been trapped by something I’ve said more times than I can count. And Oh! The shame! I feel like I’m blushing just recalling my arrogance and stupidity!
Again, I can’t help but quote words of wisdom from Charles Bridges:
The haughty spirit carries the head high. The man looks upward, instead of to his steps. What wonder therefore, if, not seeing what is before him, he falls?. . . There is often something in the fall, that marks the Lord’s special judgment. God smites the object, of which the man is proud. David gloried in the number of his people, and the Lord diminished them by pestilence. Hezekiah boasted of his treasure, and the Lord marked it to be taken away. At the moment that Nebuchadnezzar was proud of his Babel, he was banished from the enjoyment of it.
We are so blessed, that, as Christians, we can experience the humiliation that God gives. It proves that He is chastening us, and His chastisement proves that we are His and that we are loved. (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:7; Revelation 3:19) Humiliation can bring restoration, if we admit our sin. What child of God can refuse the contrite pleas of forgiveness of one who has wronged us? What a sweet time it is when fellowship between God and his child, and between Christian brothers and sisters, has been restored! I know that light-hearted feeling from experience.
I want to let this verse flash in my mind as neon warning sign. I want to be careful not to become lifted up in pride and have to endure a fall. I want to remember Paul’s message, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12