Watch Your Step

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” (Provers 16:18, MSG)

This verse was bound to pop up in my daily feed at some point, and I say that in good humor. It is one that’s been on my mind a lot since June 8, 2019 when I fell off of a stool, dislocating my shoulder while tearing my labrum, straining my rotator cuff, and fracturing my humerus…not funny!

You might be more familiar with today’s verse paraphrased in the King James Version, “Pride goeth…before a fall.” I couldn’t resist it in The Message Version, though, because of the crash. It isn’t just the onomatopoeia of the muscles and bone doing things they weren’t designed to do, but also the damage to my ego, which was almost as painful.

For me, I used the very same stool many times to climb and grab items just beyond my reach. I learned as a child not to use such items for things they weren’t intended for, but previous successes desensitized me to potential calamity. I had not fallen before, so there was no reason to think that day would be any different. And I guess this is an appropriate time to correct the record: standing on the stool was no problem — I did that just fine — it was the dismount that did me in. Still, my success in getting up and down without any problem…even though I knew better…deceived me into thinking the crash would never happen to me.

And therein lies the proverbial rub. We tend to live as though the things we do that we know we shouldn’t do won’t catch up to us in the end. Honestly, though, many of them do. It isn’t always so dramatic, but misplaced confidence often turns into dislocated faith through the crash of ego, body, and/or both. Being conscientious can save a lot of pain, energy, and money; especially when it comes to bills from the ER, surgical consult, and at least a month of physical therapy.

I want to leave you today with another bit of wisdom that comes just before today’s verse, as Solomon wrote, “Watch your step and save your life” (Proverbs 16:17b, MSG). Are you getting ready to venture out, or do something, you know you shouldn’t do, but past successes have build up a misplaced confidence? Go to God. Go to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor. Don’t let a misplaced confidence turn into something dislocated. Trust me.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for walking with me through life. Yes, there are times when I step where, when, and in ways I know I shouldn’t. Please forgive me. Help me to watch my step like you watch my step to keep me safe and healthy. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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