I'll never forget the 1992 Olympic try-outs.
In anticipation of the games, Reebok invested more than 15 million in ads asking whether Dan O'Brien or Dave Johnson was the world's greatest Decathlete. They were both considered a shoo-in to make the US Olympic team and compete in Barcelona.
Everything was great until it came to the pole vault event at the US Olympic Trials. The bar started at 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches. O'Brien had cleared that height more than a hundred times. He could do it in his sleep. So rather than play it safe and pick up some points by making a few easy vaults, he decided to pass several lower heights before opening at 15 feet, 9 inches.
Needless to say everyone was shocked when he failed on all three attempts to clear the bar. He went under it the first try and the third and knocked it off the support while coming down on the second. If he had cleared even the lowest of the vaults-just 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches-he would have earned enough points to finish second in the Trials and make the Olympic team. But that was too easy. And because of his decision, he spent the 1992 Olympics in the broadcasting booth rather than on the field!
Jesus tells us that his followers should be different, very different.
In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus said,
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
To me the real issue of pride boils down to this: Are we trying to make ourselves successful? Or are we trying to do God's will and allow Him to make us successful?
In the King James Version Jeremiah 45:5, we are asked this question another way, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not."
Sign up HERE to get my articles delivered straight to your inbox.