Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (NIV)
1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)
Simon was a rascal, a great big handsome brute of a dog who loved to get the best of you. He was gentle with children, wily with adults. My pride often took a fall while walking him, as I never knew when he would decide to take advantage of a moment's inattentiveness. I would be strolling along, enjoying our daily constitutional, proud of being able to handle this big fellow on the end of the leash, when suddenly, always when I was in mid-stride — look out — he would bolt.
Many a neighbour was left howling with laughter as they witnessed me being jerked into the air behind Simon, while hanging onto his leash for dear life as my feet hit the pavement on the fly and directed me to the nearest telephone pole that I could fling my arms around, in order to bring us both to a screeching halt. But this was only the beginning of their enjoyment and my continued lesson in the art of humility. For the next step involved picking the splinters out of the side of my face that hit the pole, while trying to look nonchalant about the whole affair in order to save the small scrap of what was left of my pride and dignity.
Humility is a hard lesson to learn. It is a necessary one, however, for as today's verse tells us, "pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." And how our enemy the devil loves to see the destruction and fall of our plans, our spirits, and our relationships!
Much like Simon, the evil one is always prowling around, waiting and watching for those moments of inattentiveness in our lives as Christians, moments when we take our eyes off Jesus — His will and way — to covet our own. At such times, if we are not quick to recognize and reverse our folly, our spiritual feet can be yanked out from beneath us in the blink of an eye, leaving us feeling humiliated in front of friends, family, and most especially, our Lord.
Simon was simply a rascal who loved a bit of fun. Satan, however, is our arch-enemy, whose purpose is to destroy the works and will of God in His people. So look out! Be attentive! Let us stay focused on Jesus, and we won't be left nonchalantly trying to remove the splinters of spiritual humiliation from spirit and memory at the end of the day.
Prayer: Lord God, how we love Your humility which led You to lay aside Your kingly crown for a time, that You might come to earth and dwell among us. Continue to teach us this day to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3 NIV). In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.