Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Approaching stormDaryl Christensen has been a pro walleye-fisherman for many years. Fishing the major walleye-circuit, he has chalked-up many victories. As with all of us, sometimes success can lead to overconfidence. Such was the case for Daryl on an overcast June day several years ago.

Daryl and his amateur fishing partner were fishing a pro-am tournament on Mille Lacs Lake about six miles offshore. After searching all day, they finally found a “honey hole” where the walleyes were stacked up like cordwood.

Unfortunately, a thunderhead was making its way across the lake heading right toward their position. Daryl doubted they could find this specific “hot spot” again and ignored the advice of his partner to head for safety. As the dark clouds rumbled closer, Daryl joked, “I’m ready if God wants to take me.” His partner replied, “Well, I’m not!” Trying to encourage the amateur, Daryl confidently assured him, “I’ve stayed out in similar situations before without a problem.”

Then, just as Daryl was about to cast with his 8–1⁄2 foot graphite rod, a bolt of lightning hit his rod! The charge knocked Daryl off his feet and rendered him unconscious for a couple of minutes. When he woke up, the amateur urged him to see a doctor immediately. Daryl was in shock, and his pride was wounded. He insisted that they keep on fishing. But within a few hours the shock of the experience settled in and Daryl decided he’d better go to the doctor after all.

Pride is what turned Satan against God. The Lord says of the devil, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” (Ezekiel 28:17) It was also the prideful allure of becoming like God with which Satan tempted Adam and Eve. We might even say that pride is the basis of all sin against God and others.

Pride runs counter to God. James warns, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6) Pride also obscures logic, reason, and good judgment causing one to act foolishly. “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12)

Pride stirs up strife, acts selfishly, and wrecks relationships. Pride and love cannot share the same heart.

Like Daryl’s lesson in pride above, lessons on pride are usually hard learned. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 6:6–19

Personal Application

  • In what area of your life are you most prone to pride? Ask the Lord for victory in that area.
  • Specifically look for ways to practice humility today before God and others.

Jim Grassi image and signature  Jim Grassi, D. Min.

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5