“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). This verse, as clear as it is, holds a profound truth that we often overlook. We see in its essence a warning, a caution to those who exalt themselves above others and even above God. Yet, how often do we fall into the trap of pride? How often do we allow our hearts to be consumed by it, forgetting that it is the very thing that separates us from God?
There was a man named Simon, a man of influence and prestige. His position, wealth, and accomplishments made him well-respected in society. As success came easily, so did pride. Simon’s heart was filled with self-importance, and he believed that he was above others in righteousness and piety. He saw God as someone who should be impressed by his good works and achievements, rather than someone to be worshipped and revered.
One day, he encountered the teachings of Jesus. He heard about the humble Savior who washed the feet of His disciples, who taught, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Simon was intrigued yet dismissive. He could not comprehend why someone as powerful as Jesus would choose to humble Himself.
Despite his skepticism, Simon invited Jesus to his home for a meal. A woman, known to be a sinner, came and washed Jesus' feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with expensive perfume. Simon was appalled, yet Jesus' response to this woman's act of humility and repentance caught him off guard.
Jesus said, "Simon, do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little" (Luke 7:44-47).
In that moment, Simon’s pride was exposed. He realized that his self-righteousness had blinded him to his own need for forgiveness. He saw the humility of the woman and the grace of Jesus and was moved. His heart, once filled with pride, was now softened by humility. Simon understood that it was not his deeds or status that made him righteous before God, but his faith and humility.
From that day forward, Simon sought to live a life of humility, recognizing his dependence on God's grace. He understood the words of James 4:6: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble". Simon's conversion from pride to humility serves as a powerful reminder for us all. No matter how accomplished or righteous we may think we are, we must remember that it is through humility, repentance, and faith that we find favor with God and receive His grace.
Today, let's pray for a heart like Simon's, a heart that turns from pride to embrace humility. Let's seek to humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our sins and our need for His grace. For it is when we are humble that we are exalted by God.