|PRIDE WITH A CAPITAL "P"
Pride is a sneaky thing. It even hides behind larger sins.
And it may have happened to me. I’ve always been thankful for the good health God has given
to me. I thank Him daily for this blessing. In fact, I’ve copied from my Dad, who I heard many times saying, "Thank
you God, for life, health and strength." I thank him when I lift the milk gallon at breakfast, and as I button my shirts,
because I’m able to do these simple things that many dear folks can not do.
But do you know…pride may have sneaked into me, that I could still do these things at my age. It hit me
when I remembered stepping lively up the steps at the post office…just because I could! It wasn’t in my mind
at all, but the thought came to me later, when overnight, God showed me a thing or two about being overly pleased.
I woke up one morning and found pain in the ends of my fingers when I clinched my
hands. It hurt when I tried about the only exercise I do, what Charles Atlas called "dynamic tension." Then I
found I couldn’t do the "squat thrust" I had done back in football, because it made my knees hurt. I’ve
mentioned to you at another time, that the Apostle Paul said "bodily exercise profiteth little," (1 Timothy 4:8)
and I take him at his word. And I found that I couldn’t open the jelly lid…my hand didn’t have the strength.
And it came to me…had I been showing pride because of my abilities…for
example, to break an apple in two? Folks, Jesus Himself said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil
thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy,
pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23).
Notice how the word "pride" gets in there? We easily claim goodness for not committing
adultery, murder and theft, but Christ preached against other things not so obvious. I'm much better now, with a
And with all that, I went out on one of Missouri’s
wet, windy days and developed an uncontrollable cough that it took over three weeks to lose! Remember the words, "pride
goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
I’ve noticed that some of my Conquest articles have taken on a new complexion since my wife
went to her new home. I don’t feel the same about passing from this life to the next. I like to use the
term “The Promise” that the Lord gives to everyone…that Christians will immediately be with loved
ones who’ve gone on, when our turn comes.
King David used that consolation we see in 2nd Samuel 12:23,
after his son by Bathsheba died; “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” And of course Jesus
showed the same comfort to us, as He hung on the Cross, when he told the thief hanging beside Him, who had become a believer
there, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
I’ve written about that in an earlier article, but for those of you who didn’t see it, I’ll give
my interpretation of those words by Christ. “Today” means now…assuring us that we won’t be
put in a waiting area until some time in the future. And “shalt thou be with me” means that He will go to
the same place with this person who’s dying at His side.
And the Bible clearly shows that the word “Paradise” and
“Heaven” are the same place. Revelation 2:7 is enough to convince us: “He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which
is in the paradise of God.” And the tree of life serves double duty, also indicating that we’ll eat the
best of foods in Heaven.
The only ones who
should fear death, are those of you who haven’t given your heart to the Lord. I beg you to take care of that,
at this very moment. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.