One of the better known verses in the Bible is Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Occasionally we get to see it played out right on our own TV screens.
The opening night of the NFL season was at New England–last year’s winner of the Super Bowl.
Fans were greeted with a huge, over-the-top intro hyping how great the Patriots were.
Not sure who gets the credit for the idea, but let’s just say it seemed odd. It certainly didn’t reflect the attitude of the coach or the quarterback. The intro was clearly out of character.
It was way too much pride in their Super Bowl win. They had already celebrated that back in February.
But then, why not just rub it in. Maybe it will intimidate the opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. After all, New England was favored to win, and some were already talking about a perfect record all the way to another Super Bowl win.
Let’s just say that the Chiefs didn’t get the memo. They easily handled the Patriots that night.
For New England it was utter humiliation. The celebratory intro made it worse.
To be fair, they could have done a pregame celebration with more dignity.
In fact, pride is not always negative. For instance, we appreciate people who take pride in their work. So pride can be positive.
The pregame celebration could have focused on the fans, the attitude of some of the players, the hard work put in at practice, and a host of other things. Yes, the team was down 28-3 late in the game, but why not take pride in the fact that the team never gave up?
At any rate, the whole thing seemed to promote more arrogance than gratitude.
At the end of the day, you have to wonder if all the pregame hype had not actually worked against the Patriots. We’ll never know. After a few games they are still struggling.
But we do know that it’s good advice to let someone else toot your horn.
Pride in the form of conceit and arrogance is never appropriate. To others it’s always out of place.
Now keep in mind that we are talking about one the greatest sports franchises ever to come along. Even they seemed to be oblivious to their uncalled for boasting and pride.
Which is a reminder to us that pride is never far away and does indeed precede destruction.
As the San Francisco 49ers head for the Super Bowl, one story caught my attention. It was about the quarterback and his tattoo artist. It’s a great story, but at the same time illustrates why pride should simply not exist. The story begins in the Philippines with a broken home. Through a series of events the mom moves to the US, gets married, and eventually brings her son to Nevada to live. Reno, to be exact.
One day the quarterback of the University of Nevada football team walks in to get some ink for his skin. They hit it off and the tattoos kept coming until Kaepernick had his arms covered along with his chest and back.
But tattoos are everywhere. No big deal right? Yes, until K becomes the starting quarterback for the 49ers midseason. Now he is on TV every weekend. The tattoos begin to get noticed. The team keeps winning, makes the playoffs, wins the NFC title, and is now in the Super Bowl.
Guess who else is getting tons of attention and business? You guessed it. His tattoo artist. Currently he is booked three months in advance and now requires deposits.
As a result of his success should the tattoo artist be lifted up with pride? Think about it. He had nothing to do with his family life in the Philippines. He had no control over his mother getting married and bringing him to the states. And certainly nothing to do with living in Reno. To top it off he had no control over a star quarterback walking into his small shop one day.
Kaepernick seems to be handling the instant notoriety very well. He is careful to thank God on a regular basis. In fact, his tattoo artist has noticed how grounded and humble the quarterback is. It’s always refreshing to see someone hit it big and realize how little control he actually had over all the circumstances. Kaepernick was adopted. He excelled at three sports. What if he had gone into baseball?
Just one different turn and no one hears about Kaepernick or the tattoo artist.
So much of life is like that. We didn’t choose our parents, what country to be born in, and what occupation our parents chose.
That leaves me with at least two quick thoughts on why pride should be more scarce, and humility more prominent.
First of all, who wants to hang out with a prideful person? Exactly. No one. So why are some people so prideful?
Secondly, people are not responsible for what they are prideful about.
Think of all the things people point to about themselves. Now add up how many they are in control of.
Your number is probably close to 0. That’s humbling in and of itself, which underscores why there is no room for pride!