Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
— Proverbs 16:18
Though I use a walking stick for hiking, I have fallen several times. As I crossed Sloan Creek on the Appalachian Trail in northern Virginia, I fell again, and I struggled to get up because of my backpack. I wondered, “Have the many miles and crossings made me a little careless?” After all, Proverbs warns that “pride goes . . . before a fall.”
Pride is a vision problem that we all struggle with. In our pride, we fail to see our true place in God’s scheme of things. The Bible condemns pride as the very cause of humanity’s rebellion and its deadly consequences. Forgetting that we are creatures, we reject God’s design for our lives. Thinking that we are superior, we nurture contempt for others.
Humility is the antidote to pride. True humility means clearly seeing our place in relation to God and the world he has made; it means treating God as God, and treating ourselves and others as his loved creatures. That’s how God wants us to walk with him—treating everyone with due dignity and grace.
How do we practice humility? We walk humbly with God when we walk with Jesus. By his death, Jesus has redeemed us and set us on the right path. By his example, he leads us. As we follow, filled with his Spirit, we can walk rightly in God’s world, respecting and loving everyone.
Lord Jesus, by your obedient life and death, you have shown us how to walk humbly with God. Help us to follow in your steps, serving you and others. Amen.