Beth, Be Not Proud
SINFUL PRIDE IS BAD; HUMILITY IS GOOD.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 21:2-4.
Verse of the Day: “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin” (Proverbs 21:4).
“Yyyyyes!” Beth shouted as she entered the family room. “I got the highest grade in my class on that social-studies report!”
“Congratulations,” her big brother, Cal, said, barely glancing up from the TV.
“I knew I would,” Beth said. She swaggered across the room like a drum majorette in a parade.
“Oh?” Cal asked. “How’d you know that?”
“We had to read our reports out loud in class, and I could tell mine was the best. Jenny Ramsdale’s was stupid, and Howard’s report was totally boring!”
“But yours was perfect, right?” Cal said, with barely disguised sarcasm.
“Uh-huh,” she answered, not taking the hint. “I’m the smartest kid in my class, easy.” She ran a hand through her hair as if she were posing for a picture.
“Guess you’ve never heard the story of the two roosters, have you?” Cal said.
“Two roosters? What story is that?”
Cal turned down the volume on the TV. “Oh, it’s just a story about two roosters. Both claimed to be the best rooster in the barnyard. One day, they got into a fight. The rooster that lost ran away and hid in a secluded corner of the barnyard. The rooster that won climbed up on top of the chicken coop and started flapping his wings and crowing about how good he was. He crowed so loud that an eagle flying high overhead heard him. The eagle dove from the sky, carried the rooster off, and had a fine chicken dinner that night.”
Beth stared at Cal. “What’s that story supposed to mean?”
Cal shrugged. “I think you know,” he said.
Beth pursed her lips and was silent for a moment. “I guess I was getting a little carried away,” she said finally.
“A little?” Cal answered.
“OK, a lot,” Beth admitted.
“It’s OK to take pleasure in your achievements, Beth,” Cal said. “But the Bible says that having a proud heart is a sin. It’s better to stay humble.”
“Kids,” Mom said, sticking her head into the room. “It’s almost time for dinner.” “What are we having?” Beth asked. “Chicken,” Mom answered.
Beth and Cal looked at each other and broke into laughter.
TO DISCUSS: What do you think is the difference between taking pleasure in your achievements and being sinfully proud? How can you do your best and stay humble at the same time?
TO PRAY: “God, we know you monitor the pride levels of our hearts. Keep us away from pride and point us toward humility.”