PRIDE COMETH BEFORE A FALL
Today I would like to talk with you about the subject of attitude. We need to look carefully at what we do and say. I am reminded of the prayers of both the publican and the Pharisee in the synagogue. (Luke 18:9-14) And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. Two men went up to the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. This story is obviously black and white and sometimes we fail to see that the world throws situations that are gray instead. It will not jump right out at us. It is very easy to see the sins of others and then not see the sins that we face. Or even worse we fail into the same sins that we were so against. Pride cometh before a fall.
Recently I spoke with a man whose wife is an active adulteress. He had spoken against the sins of his wife for quite a long time. He said he was trying hard to find a way for his wife's soul to be saved. He prayed for her soul and that she would leave her sin behind. He had the attitude that he was better than her, without realizing it. His pride of being better than her was broken when he had an adulterous relationship with another woman. He went the same way as his wife. He divorced his wife and moved far away to live with the other woman (who was separated from her second husband, but still married.) Neither of them was right. I talked with the man later and he said that his wife had caused him to stumble by her actions. I told him that he was responsible for his actions and explained what I had seen concerning his pride. He was unwilling to listen to what I had to say about pride or God's Word concerning fornication and adultery. Two wrongs don't make a right, they make two people estranged from God. Interestingly enough, the problems that they were running from were still there. They were still as unfulfilled as before. They soon moved on as the relationship did not last. Nothing had really changed. They were still searching for a way to love themselves. They would not accept, deep down in their hearts, that love which Christ offers to all of us. What each of these people were looking for was self worth. Both were hoping to find it in each other. Each is as far, if not further, from where they really wanted to be when they got together.
We need to be doing it God's way not our way. It is sad that in this situation two people who know God have left each other to have adulterous relationships and that other people are not only not hearing the message that they need to hear about Jesus but the example will probably make them more callus to the Word of God.
When we have pride in our lives we let down our guard against the devil. The devil is able to wander in unnoticed and take us away. The devil is a sly old fox who will do anything to get you into his camp. How do we make sure that we do not get involved in the same offenses that those above fell into. This will sound corny and oversimplified but we need to stay away from the pit. When we are walking along and not looking were we are going we will fall. I remember one day as I was working security in a campground. I was going along the trails without my flashlight on. I managed to run into a four foot tall post. I managed to get the top of in squarely in the stomach. If I had been walking in the light I would have OK. If I had not had the pride that I knew my way around that campground well enough to go it alone (without the use of my flashlight), I would have been OK. How often do we forget that God is there to be our guide. He will hold our hand and walk us through. He will even pick us up and carry us when we need it.