Week 30 Tuesday

A Foolish Pride

Today’s scripture selection: Second Kings 16-20

Key verses: Second Kings 16-20

     King Hezekiah was going to die.  At least that was the word from Isaiah the prophet.  Fearful; broken; he appealed to God for mercy.  And he received it – another fifteen years of life.

     His appeal was based on the fact that he had been a good king – and that was true.  In fact, over a hundred-year period only Hezekiah had been a “good” king according to God’s standards.

     And so, reassured – and ready to live at least a few more years – Hezekiah got back to the business of running his kingdom.  Then he did something very foolish.

     Emissaries came from a powerful, foreign nation: Assyria.  And what did the king do?  He showed them everything he had at his disposal; everything he owned. When Isaiah asked him about this, Hezekiah made this quite clear.

“They saw everything in my palace.  There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Not very smart – and definitely an act of prideful foolishness.

In the future, his country would pay dearly for that mistake.

We might be tempted to shake our heads in disbelief at such a foolish old king.  But there is a lesson here worth noting.

Pride can lead us to do very foolish, even deadly, things.

Pride can cause us to strike up friendships with the wrong people; lead us to throw away what is dear to us; leave us or our loved ones exposed to attack.

In contrast, scripture counsels this:

Stay humble.  Remember how you got to where you are.  And don’t be quick to believe that it is because you are so smart, or talented, or whatever….

Healthy self-esteem, kept in perspective – that’s a good thing.

Foolish pride, out of control – that’s something to avoid – at all costs.

Prayer: Lord, keep me humble, and thankful for my blessings – especially those I had nothing to do with earning.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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