I look back twenty-six years to when I was twenty-six years old. I was mature for my age then. As I close in on the end of my second batch of twenty-six, I think I’m now less mature for my age. But now I got sidetracked from the purpose of this post.
When I reached my twenty-sixth birthday…
- I had been a husband for five years.
- We had two children — LaVay (3) and Russell (close to 1).
- I was just into my fifth year of teaching high school at our church school.
- I had just begun my second year as principal at that school.
- It had been about 2.5 years since we had temporarily “retired” as Mexico missionaries.
- I didn’t own a house, because I was trying to lay up treasures in heaven.
Over the next eight years, I added more to My Accomplishments.
Alas, I also added to My Pride, at least on the inside.
But inside or out, that affliction portends bad things to come. Always.
“…God resisteth the proud…” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
“When pride cometh, then cometh shame…” (Proverbs 11:2).
Since the bad harvest of pride often doesn’t come right away, we get careless and carefree with pride.
Then we pay the price.
Now, twenty-six years later and having tasted its bitter fruit, do I still struggle with pride?
Sure. But now I recognize the struggle (most of the time). And I engage the battle (more of the time).
I loathe pride. And in a healthy way (I think), I fear pride.
When I find myself embracing it, I try to come to my senses and push it away in repentance.
I have experienced pride’s wrecking ball.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty…” (Proverbs 18:12).
“A man’s pride shall bring him low…” (Proverbs 29:23).
So many of My Accomplishments have gone to nothing. And so many of My Opportunities have evaporated.
What a waste!
Yup, I have paid dearly, though not yet fully.
Would I like a do-over? In a sense, my answer really doesn’t matter. The stark reality is that I don’t get to try again. That part of my life is gone, gone, gone.
Maybe God will give me an opportunity to do better tomorrow.
I hope so.
If He does, may I allow His Spirit to continue to craft in me in the mind of Christ so that the Father may see in me at least a faint image of His Son.