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Fall Risk

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)

Several years ago, my oldest daughter was hospitalized for a relatively minor illness that amounted to a three-day stay. Upon admission, she was required to wear a (hideous) plastic, yellow wrist band.

Emblazoned in all caps, it read, FALL RISK.

My interpretation? “Caution! This one might think she’s got solid footing but is at risk for a fall. Must be watched carefully.”

The day she returned home, I began to experience righteous anger over a matter. Frustration mounted as I considered the effort I’d put into following God’s rules throughout my life while others – as I saw it- readily disregarded them.

I mean, what difference did it make if I’d worked to live obediently when there were those who reveled in his free gift of grace without a willingness to submit to his authority? So what if rewards awaited me in heaven for how faithfully I’d utilized His gifts on earth when others squandered them and live selfishly but will also be granted God’s favor of eternity?

As I expelled a weary sigh and gathered hospital mementos (Moms do this sort of thing), there it was. That hideous yellow hospital bracelet.

I read it again as if for the first time. Fall risk.

Awareness stirred, my heart now ripe to hear God’s convicting pronouncement:

“Remember, it wasn’t sexual immorality or chemical abuse or blasphemy or profanity or gluttony or ingratitude or racial discrimination that led to Satan’s fall from heaven. It was his pride.”

Then it hit me. Hard. And tears flowed… enough to fill an ocean.

Because maybe I had it all wrong.

Pride over how well I’d followed God’s rules compared to others put me in company with the oft-overlooked elder brother of Luke 15.

He’d fussed at his father for lavishing the reckless, spend-thrift, younger bro’ with a welcome home party while elder brother had chosen to tirelessly follow Pop’s rules. And was mighty proud of himself, too.

So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. I Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)

As I reminder to keep my attitude in check, perhaps I could strap that hideous yellow bracelet around my own wrist.

But I won’t. Because, for the proud, those convinced their way is the only right way, there’s grace.

How have you let self-righteous thinking cause you to slip and fall?


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✏️ Two of my 2019 inspirational articles that were published in Refresh, Online Bible Study Magazine, are featured in this 40 short Bible studies compilation, The Power to Make a Difference Available on Amazon.


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