We have fire ants in our yard. They are dreadful creatures that Scott is continually chasing around the yard. As he poisons each mound they just pack up their eggs and move to a new location, it’s a constant never ending war between him and them. Their bite is terribly painful, we’ve all experienced it, so Scott is determined to continue the war for himself and us. I was reminded of those relentless fire ants as I was thinking about the battle of pride in the wee hours this morning. Recently my family has been privy to an example of the painful ramifications of glaring pride, and it has served as a vital yet dreadful reminder of its insidious danger to each of us.
I battle pride. Sadly, I’ve been aware of it for many, many years, but I am constantly amazed at just how quickly it continues to sneak in unnoticed in new form. Just like those pesky anthills, as quickly as I address pride in one area of my life it pops up somewhere else, and so the chase goes to crucify my flesh just like Scott chasing those ants. Each mound in our yard is slightly different than the other, but they are all anthills. The same with my pride, each time it pops up it is in slightly different form, but ultimately it’s all the same, pride. Whether it’s wrong priorities, a critical spirit, hurt feelings because a perceived need wasn’t met, anger because I did not get my way, refusal to admit I am wrong, blaming others for my failure, desire to be in control, jealousy, or lack of contentment, it’s all rooted in the same source: pride. That’s just a few of the endless ways it manifests itself as it’s constantly evolving and changing to pander to the selfish desires of my flesh.
It seems like we don’t hear that much about pride these days, like perhaps it’s not one of the “big sins.” I wonder if we unintentionally think of it like anthills, it’s annoying and we should probably deal with it, but it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just an anthill. Scripture speaks clearly and boldly to the contrary.
“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2 [NASB]
“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs 16:18 [NASB]
“A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.” Proverbs 29:23 [NASB]
Be not confused, when scripture says pride goes before destruction it is not a metaphor. I am reminded through the example that has played out before us that unchecked pride will have devastating ramifications. It has compelled me to check my heart before Him daily crying out to Him to reveal the iniquity in my own heart that I may repent and be cleansed. I know I have been guilty of viewing my sinful pride as annoying anthills, but today I am reminded that I am but an ant, and as an ant those anthills of pride are mighty mountains standing between me and holiness. I cry out to Him today in unison with the voice of David in Psalm 51. I praise Him knowing He will hear my cry, He will blot out all my iniquities, He will create in me a clean heart, and He will renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Artwork: Sarah Harmening