I never wanted to write the Great American Novel. In fact, I never thought about penning a book until my thirtieth wedding anniversary approached. I decided a semi-factual novel based on our life together would be the perfect gift for my wife. After all, how hard could it be? I've read a book or two (mostly pop-ups). Throw some words together, sift, toss in several weighty phrases, stir, sprinkle in a dash of obscure vocabulary, and bake until done.
Thirty thousand words into the novel, I took a breath and stepped back. Eager for the accolades to begin flowing, I allowed my wife to preview it. The best she could manage was, "I like this part."
I nodded knowingly. "That's one of my favorite sections too."
"Umm, I meant this paragraph."
When the woman who's promised to stand by you no matter what struggles to encourage you, there's a problem. I reread my scribblings, and discovered that it was. . . unreadable. I believe the term nowadays is "epic fail."
Proverbs teaches "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Many antagonists fall victim to their own smugness, and we as readers relish watching it happen. Let the bad guy build himself up. Allow his arrogance to know no bounds. And then yank it all away.
In this "show, don't tell" episode, Jonathan is proud of himself for arranging a fantastic first date with Katherine.
- Jonathan was bursting at the seams. He'd organized the perfect evening and was virtually assured of a second date.
- Jonathan licked his finger and forced a stray hair back into position. Chin up, shoulders back. Was he taller? The mirror didn't lie. Katherine was in for a treat.
The image of Jonathan preening shows us how much he thinks of himself. Let's hope Katherine has the same opinion.
As Christians, pride is one of our biggest enemies. Thinking too much of ourselves is a guaranteed doorway to sin. Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say.
The Bible Tells:
- Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:23
- "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed." 1 Samuel 2:3
- If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Galatians 6:3
The Bible Shows:
Imagine having so much pride that you wouldn't do such a simple thing to be rid of leprosy. Fortunately, his servants convinced Naaman to follow the instructions, and the disease was washed away. But that's not the end. Naaman's gratitude and acceptance led him to proclaim he would worship only the Lord. By properly attributing God's actions, the great man showed no pride, only humility and appreciation.
Likewise, when believers remember every good thing is from the Lord, the temptation of pride gives way to the praise of thanksgiving. Give God the credit He deserves.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1
- I believe the term nowadays is "epic fail." (Tweet this)
- Thinking too much of ourselves is a guaranteed doorway to sin. (Tweet this)
- The temptation of pride gives way to the praise of thanksgiving. (Tweet this)
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
After years in the big city corporate world, Tom Threadgill now lives in a small rural community in the South. When he’s not pretending to write, he spends his time puttering around the yard while his dog watches with complete disinterest. His wife tends to agree with the dog. He can be reached through his website, TomThreadgill.com or on Facebook.