September 29, 2011
Mind the Cannons
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2
Pop quiz: How much do you know about Hawaii? If you’re anything like me, the only things that come to mind are beaches, palm trees, sharks, cruise ships, bigger sharks, Pearl Harbor, and really big sharks with lots of teeth. What you may not know about our 50th state is that before it became a part of the USA, there was a civil war in Hawaii between two rival chieftains.
Now, one of the generals in this war was a man named Kaiana. Kaiana was a seasoned warrior, and had gained a big advantage in the war by positioning his forces in some strategically well-defended areas. Kaiana was also a proud man, and he was known to display his rank among the soldiers by wearing bright clothing with many colors. Unfortunately, Kaiana failed to realize this would make him more noticeable on the battlefield, and the general met his end after being shot by a cannon.
The Bible has some pretty dire warnings about dealing with pride,
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.” – Proverbs 16: 18-20
Pride will always be one of the most difficult sins to guard against because it has a way of hiding behind the things we value. Perhaps you take pride in your athletic ability, but do you flaunt that ability over your teammates or use it to inspire them? Maybe you take pride in having a nice job with a high salary, but does that pride make you generous or arrogant? What about your appearance? Are you proud of the way you look, and if those looks were gone, would others still find you beautiful?
Take a lesson from Christ. He was the son of God, yet chose to lay down his infinite majesty to become a human. His followers could have been priests and princes, but he extended his hand in friendship to fisherman, foreigners and outcasts. He was the King of Kings, but the only crown he wore was made of thorns. Don’t allow pride to shape who you are. God made you to be an amazing person, and trust me, his work is always better.
Intersecting Faith and Life
Are you letting pride influence your actions toward others? Take a moment to reflect and consider your attitude.