Today, I’ve been reflecting on pride and how each of us can easily get entangled in it. I dove into Proverbs 16 and first went to verse 18-19, “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.” After I read those verses, I decided to read the whole chapter. It’s full of wisdom, of course, but how often do I actually follow instruction and allow for God to lead? The chapter reminds me that my plans aren’t Gods plans. I think I know best and actually end up ruining things or missing the mark. I know that God knows best, but that doesn’t mean that I always trust Him. I am a scheduler, I have my day planned out in my head, what I’m going to do first and the order I’m going to do things in. I don’t know why I won’t stop being that way because my plans get wrecked most of the time. I kick, scream, cuss, and resist when things don’t go my way. God probably looks at me and just shakes His head and laughs. God’s plans are greater than mine, instead of throwing a fit; I need to follow the current of change. There’s a reason He’s switched my itinerary around. He may be protecting me against something; he may be leading me in the path of someone I wouldn’t have met if I kept my schedule, or he may be trying to teach me something.
Any way you look at it, simply put, I don’t know any better than God. In Proverbs 16, I’m reminded that God does have a plan for me and he wants me to seek him for instruction and guidance. He wants me to trust and follow him, even when it goes against the grain of what I want. If I think I know better than God, that’s pride. That’s saying, “God, you don’t know what you’re talking about, let me handle this.” When I follow my own path, I get in trouble and I really screw things up. If I’m off the path, I’m walking into unprotected areas; it’s like climbing the fence when the warning sign is visible. It clearly says to keep out, but if I decide to not listen, I have to be prepared to face the consequences.
When I was a kid, if I saw a “No Trespassing” sign, I completely ignored it. It tempted me to go over the boundaries. I wanted to push my limits and see what I was supposed to stay away from. I climbed fences with barbed wire. I propped up electric fence lines to slide myself under the lowest line, just to brag that I crossed over. I jumped over the cow fence to get the bulls to chase me. I loved danger, but it almost got me in big trouble a lot of times. One time, I remember an older man came out with a shotgun and started shooting in mine and my cousin’s direction. We took off running and hid in some high grass until he left. A lot of the times I stepped in cow manure running from the bulls, I’d have to try and clean it off my shoes before I got home because mom got rather upset when I messed up my clothes. I did some pretty stupid things just to get a thrill. That’s how sin is; it entices you to just try something you are clearly told not to do. The first sin recorded was when Eve didn’t listen to God’s instruction and ate from the tree of knowledge anyway. She wanted to know what it was like and then we all know what happened from there. She decided to detour from God’s path and ended up regretting her decision. I’ve had too many moments like that in my life, if we are all honest, everyone has. Satan’s greatest weapon is pride which leads to temptation, that savory perfume that pulls us toward failure. How do we correct that? We admit that we were wrong and we go back in the right direction and follow God’s path. It hurts to admit failure, but it hurts worse to continue in it, hide it and get trapped by our stupid pride. When we admit our mistakes, we are humbling ourselves and recognizing that we don’t know better than God. Humility is the sweet fragrance from our Heavenly Father, that enables us to do an about face and rebuild our relationship with Him.