We live in a culture and generation that celebrates pride. We see it in everything from politics to sports. News organizations give daily updates on the health and extramarital affairs of star athletes while rarely mentioning the sacrifice of the unsung heroes who work with the unfortunate and outcast of society. Even the unlearned and ignorant among Christian circles applaud and promote ministers that strut around like peacocks overflowing with pride.
God said that he “opposes the proud.” (1Pet. 5:5) This is a military term meaning that He sets himself in battle array against the proud. He still does! As Christians, we must never accommodate that which God hates. If we do, it will be to the peril of our own soul.
To illustrate the character of pride, I’m reminded of this story that I heard years ago about a woodpecker.
“A woodpecker was hammering away at a tree. He was unaware of the stormy weather that was brewing on the horizon. As he was working on the tree, suddenly lightening hit it and the tree exploded with great force, bursting into hundreds of pieces.
The woodpecker flew to a nearby power line and reflected upon the tree and what just happened. He was so involved with pecking the tree that he failed to even notice that lightening had hit it. After a few minutes, he flew off. Then, thirty minutes later, he returned to the power line with ten of his woodpecker buddies. With his head held high and his chest poked out, he pointed to the tree and said, “There it is, boys!”
God calls us to be busy with the Master’s work. However, we must guard against pride whenever heaven moves on our behalf. The foolishness of pride will make us look as conceited as this woodpecker. Let us take our pride to the Cross and slay it through faith whenever it lifts its ugly head.