Today’s Scripture: Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. Proverbs¬†16:18-19

Some Christians remind me of the puffer fish. To protect itself, the puffer fish fills its elastic stomach with water or air. If a predator catches the puffer fish before it inflates, the puffer can inflate in the predator’s throat, causing it to choke to death. Besides this natural defense, certain parts of the puffer fish’s body are poisonous, especially to humans.

Instead of inflating themselves with water or air, puffed up Christians inflate with pride. Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it. C.S. Lewis said, “. . . The utmost evil is pride. . . . It was through pride that the devil became the devil: pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

How do we know if we have pride? Here are some helpful questions for us to consider: How quickly do I admit I was wrong? Is it difficult for me to accept correction? Does being seen or heard by others make me feel good? Do I often talk about myself and my opinions to others? Do I brag about my accomplishments or do things so others will notice me? Do I rely upon the acceptance of others to give me self-worth? If we answered yes to any of these questions, then we have a pride problem.

¬†We can have victory over pride when we compare our inflated thinking with reality. Reality check 1: the moment we are not willing to accept Godly correction we are in a dangerous spot. Reality check 2: we are not that important – God created us from dust. Reality check 3: our opinions mean very little – only God’s opinion matters. Reality check 4: we have no accomplishments without God. Reality check 5: the praise of others does not define how valuable we are – only what God says about us counts.

Do you see yourself as better than others? Are you focused on getting people to like you? Concentrate on reality – on God, others, and yourself. Your ego will deflate, and you will be an effective witness for Christ.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder