by Pastor Thomas Smith, St Clair, MO
"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility."
None of us want to see our lives destroyed. We do not want to experience spiritual and moral ruin, or see our dreams and worthy goals disappear. We do not want to see reproach come upon the Name of the Lord and His work due to our spiritual collapse. Is it possible there could be some indication of self-destruction before it occurs? Are there warning signs that might make moral bankruptcy avoidable? According to the Scripture, there is something that often precedes the fall of mighty men: "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty."
One of the most destructive forces in a person's life is pride. Many great leaders have been destroyed through personal pride. People of tremendous spiritual influence have seen their ministries ruined because of pride. It was pride that led to Lucifer's revolt and expulsion from Heaven. Pride is not a problem for a pitied few of God's creation, but rather it is present in every heart. Children begin to exhibit pride in their earliest years. It is a part of the sinful nature we inherited from Adam and remains a dreaded foe throughout our lives.
One reason pride is so dangerous is because it is very deceptive. We can easily be blinded to its presence in our hearts and minds. Because it is such a powerful force, when it has a stronghold in our lives, its very presence resists attempts to rid the heart of its influence. Pride rebels against the acknowledgment and removal of itself. We must be aware of the destructive nature of self-reliance and self-exaltation, and treat pride as an enemy.
Is there any antidote for such a harmful condition? The Bible declares that "before honour is humility." Just as pride can bring destruction, humility can bring blessing and honor. The cure for the poison of pride is having a humble attitude and spirit. As pride wants to exalt self and refuse correction and instruction, humility recognizes how undeserving and incapable we are. While pride is a natural part of man's fallen nature, humility must be chosen and developed in our hearts.
We are told in the Word of God to humble ourselves. We are responsible to keep ourselves humble and to repent of the wicked sin of pride. This is the way of God's blessing: He actively resists the proud, but pours out His grace on the humble.