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JIM ‘PAPPY’ MOORE: Pride Goes Before a Fall

By Jim “Pappy” Moore

I wrote a poem in the 1990s. It contains the following verse:

If you speak for God
you’d better be certain
that’s pride’s not the power
with which you are flirtin’

When I was writing those words, I was specifically thinking about the television evangelists who became millionaires and lived high on the hog from the money poor people sent them. I rebuked them then and I rebuke them now. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Kenneth Copeland. Jesus would drive those money changers out of His temple with a whip.

We hear the word pride tossed around a great deal today. Most of the time what they’re really talking about is arrogance. It’s false pride. God and his messengers warned us about it.

In the Old Testament book of Proverbs 16:18-19 we are told:

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Don’t be proud. Be humble.

Proverbs 18:13 states “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”

Psalms 73:6 states “Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment.”

Psalm 59:12 states “For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, And for the cursing and lying which they speak.”

There are many other verses. They all talk about how God despises Pride, and finds it to be a negative, selfish, self-aggrandizing emotion. We hear the word often. People talking about athletes. People talking about personal accomplishments. People boastful about themselves and others with whom they identify.

Pride implicitly says “I am better than you,” or “my group is better than yours, or “my family and friends are better than yours.”

I am pleased to live in a country which ended slavery 160 years ago. I am pleased to live in a country which is the envy of people throughout the world. I am pleased our Constitution guarantees rights that no other country’s constitution guarantees citizens. I am pleased we have so many people who work hard, who pay their way, who teach their children decent values.

We can be pleased, or joyful, or honored that we and others have achieved without being proud or prideful. Strive to be good. Work hard to be decent. Honor those who do well, who have good values. Often the proud end up falling flat on their face. Choose enlightenment.

Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.

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