“Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 NLT
We have all observed the tragedy. It is heart breaking and all too common. Leaders, influencers, pastors and leaders of families, fall. And when they do, others are impacted, sometimes even for generations. The warning to us? “Take heed lest you fall” (1 Cor 10:12). Pride is something that we all struggle with at some points in our lives, but it is also something that can grow in our own lives without us realizing it. Don’t make the mistake of think that you are above stumbling. Pride can deceive us and haughtiness can have us believe that things may happen to others, but not me. Then without realizing it, we can fall into a pit of sin, despair, and consequences.
It was Martin Luther who famously proclaimed as he watched a man headed to the gallows: “there but for the grace of God go I.”
God’s grace is sufficient, and there is always forgiveness to be found, but the best way to deal with a pit, is that we do not to fall into it in the first place.
If you subscribe to this devotion, and have read this far, I think it is likely that you are not planning on doing something terrible later today. But falling into the proverbial pit, doesn’t usually start with bold disobedience but rather a small unchecked step in the wrong direction.
A few practical things we can do to keep from falling:
Camp far away from the pit – Keep a distance from the things that tempt you. You likely know where you are most tempted, and so does the enemy of your soul. Stay away! Throw it out, move, sell it, change your route, do what is necessary to be removed from the temptation. Don’t get so close to the “line” that it becomes easy to fall.
Recognize when the wind changes direction – Be on guard when the “air” around you begins to change, when there is a unseen force that is pushing you in the wrong direction. When you avoid people that will tell you the truth, when you start associating with people that don’t share your same values, when compromise begins to creep in, and your resistance and sensitivity begin to wane, you may be heading towards destruction.
Don’t go exploring in the dark – Be on guard when you are most vulnerable. When you are tired, lonely or bored, it is not the time to go exploring. Have a plan for staying in the light when temptation comes. (call a friend, turn on worship music, read the word, go for a walk)
Check with the observation deck – How do we know if we are being prideful? It is a difficult thing to observe in our own lives, we tend to be biased and accepting of our own ways. The best way to know is to periodically ask those who know you best and are watching your life if pride is becoming an issue. It might sting a little now, but it will be better than a fall later.
This week take some practical steps to keep you from falling , and stay on the path of life!
In His Hands,