When I first touched the wrought-iron creation, I made what turned out to be a prophetic observation. “This thing could be the murder weapon in a CSI show. The newspaper headline would read: Woman killed with centerpiece at charity event.” Then we all laughed.
The 3-foot tall iron “tree” was the centerpiece on our table at my church’s annual table top dinner. Its pointy branches held vases with fresh flowers and plates laden with luscious homemade cookies and pastries. Beautiful to look at, but dangerous to carry while wearing high-heeled boots and an “I’m strong enough to do it myself” attitude.
When the event ended, clean-up got underway. I offered to carry the 25-pound deadly weapon to my friend’s car for her because, “I work out.” The length of the branches meant I had to hold it in front of me with my arms almost straight. As I followed Sherry down the sidewalk out to the parking lot she encouraged me to be careful and watch my step. I remember thinking, “She doesn’t realize how strong and agile I am.”
That’s when it happened. Just about the time that prideful thought popped into my mind, my toe caught a jut in the concrete. Thankfully I didn’t fall, but in the course of the awkward forward stumble, one of those hard, pointy branches caught the bend behind my left knee. My skirt and my boot made it through unscathed, but my flesh and my pride both suffered a beating.
God continues to remind me how dangerous pride is in the lives of His children. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). Pride keeps our eyes on us and off Jesus causing us to stumble through life – sometimes literally!
Pride creates an unrealistic, inflated view of us and thus an inferior view of God. When I’m prideful, I think too much of myself and too little of Christ. I end up choosing my own way instead of God’s way. That’s very dangerous!
When we humbly work to keep our pride in check we can begin to have a proper view of God. As our understanding of God expands, so does our trust in and dependence on Him. We choose God’s way over our own way. And that’s the best – and safest – way!
How has pride caused you to stumble in the past? How do you work to stay humble?