“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
I am grateful to my friend Steve McDerment for his insightful (and sin-sightful!) message in our church last Sunday evening when he helped us to reflect on what ‘sin’ is, how we can identify it and how we can overcome it in our lives. Steve challenged us to “keep it real” when it comes to faith, and to be honest and patient and gentle with one another when we are struggling with sin. He suggested that, biblically speaking, sin is in essence a disregard for God’s law. And God’s law is summed up in the commandments to love Him, heart and soul and mind and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
As Steve pointed out, we have, of course, an active enemy who does not want us to succeed in law-keeping. Our enemy, Satan, wants us to disregard God’s law. While generally we can easily spot his blatant, all-out disregard for God’s laws of love, Satan’s subtlety is that his attacks can even be disguised as righteousness. As we were reminded: “If Satan cannot make us lazy or sinful as Christians he’ll make us proud of the fact that we are neither.” This echoes the warning the apostle Paul gave the Christians of Corinth – “if you think you are standing firm, be careful.” The old adage, ‘Pride comes before a fall,’ neatly sums up the even older warning of Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” May God bless us with discernment, wisdom and self-awareness when it comes to issues of pride. May we “keep it real” with one another and encourage each other to keep God’s love commandments.