The Trip Before the Fall

by Joanna Pierce on September 20, 2017

Have you ever looked at your child, spouse, parent, or friend and thought, “I’m proud of them.” S/he may have just completed a marvellous feat, won a game, conquered a fight, survived a trial, and you looked at them in a sense of awe and wonder. If fact, you may have felt yourself beaming with pride for them.

I’ll be the first person to admit it. I’ve had a sense of pride when my husband spent hours on a project at work and had an amazing final product; when my nephew won a medal for Bible Quizzing; when my mom passed a test she spent hours studying for.

My feelings are hard to describe at the moment of inception—a strange joy or a tingling warmth overcomes me. It feels good, and I’m happy. But, I recently heard a wise Brother share a piece of advice. He said, “Let’s be careful we aren’t lifted up in pride in our celebration.”

And, those words hit me like a ton of bricks.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:1, KJV).

Pride is one of those elements in our Christian walk we say we understand, but do we really? I thought I did, but I didn’t.

In studying out this Scripture, I learned a few things. Pride is a sense of majesty, pomp, swelling, excellency, or exaltation. And, a haughty spirit is a lofty sense of being, grandeur, or elation. For me, when I thought about the concept of pride, I knew we should avoid the common “I’m proud of myself” moments. But, what about being proud of others? I’m pretty sure the tingling/glowy sensation I feel falls in line with this “swelling” concept of pride, as well as elation in a haughty spirit.

The more I prayed and thought about this, the more I believe the phrase, “I’m proud of…” shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary, come out of our mouths, or even cross our minds when we gaze upon a loved one. Because the truth is, that person—spouse, child, parent, friend, acquaintance, etc.—didn’t do anything. God did, and therefore, we couldn’t possibly be proud of something they didn’t do. And, are we truthfully going to be proud of God?

Any accomplishment we see occur in this life is all attributed to God. We can do nothing without God (John 15:5). He is to receive the glory, honor, and praise in all things (Ephesians 5:20; I Thessalonians 5:18). The moment I’m proud materializes anywhere, God no longer is the recipient of the praise—we or someone we dearly love becomes the beneficiary.

What we do impacts others more than we think. There’s an assurance pride in our lives will dictate a fall. And, there’s a strong possibility our prideful moments of someone else will bring failure in their lives. Let someone know we’re proud of them, and see how many times it takes before that individual starts walking around with a puffed up spirit. Consider how they wouldn’t have ever adopted that mentality if we hadn’t said anything, thought anything, or felt anything.

The prideful moments we feel for others may be a wonderful experience—a trip down the merry lane or a flight to cloud 9. But, let’s pray today we don’t even provide the allowance of pride in our hearts. Let’s pray God keeps our focus on Him, and our feelings restricted to just godly love for others.

If we can’t keep pride out, we’re not going to enjoy the eventual fall.