“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
I was raised in a Christian home. My parents, grandparent, aunts, uncles, and many cousins are all Christians. Growing up, I always knew the truth. I knew about creation, God, and Jesus. And I knew it was all true. I never had major doubts about anything in the Bible; I knew it to be true. But that’s where it stayed for a long time; knowledge. It was in my brain, not my heart.
Around eight years old, I vaguely remember my mom telling me about salvation, and what it was. Shortly after, while alone, I remember praying a prayer. I don’t remember what it was, but I do know it wasn’t real. I was trusting in the prayer to save me, not Jesus. I thought if I prayed the prayer I was supposed to, then I’d be good. I didn’t really understand the need for a savior.
So life went on. The years went by. I honestly thought I was saved. I got baptized, and around twelve years of age I became an usher in church. But my main desire began to be to please others. I wanted others to be happy with what I did and see how good I was. I deceived myself. I told myself that I didn’t care what others thought. That when I did good, it was because I wanted to please God. But in all honesty, that wasn’t true. I wanted others to see how Godly I was, not how good God is.
Then sin became to creep into my life. And because I wasn’t saved, I didn’t have the power to stop. Sin became a vice. It controlled me. If people were around, yeah, I’d be good. Whenever I was alone, I always did what I wanted to, not what was right. I remember a couple times almost getting caught and quickly telling God that if I wasn’t caught, I’d stop. But I never did. I didn’t have the power to stop.
It was then that God began working in my life. I started to question whether I was really saved. I was sure I was saved, yet I couldn’t beat the sin in my life. Confusion entered in big time. I had convinced myself I was saved, yet everything in my life seemed to indicate I wasn’t. I began to realize I didn’t understand exactly what salvation was. But one thing kept me from confiding in my parents: pride.
If you had asked me, I would’ve told you I had no pride. It was there though, hiding and in full power. I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents about my doubts or about my sin. I became very good at hiding my emotions from everyone and slowly began to put myself in a box. I was afraid if I let anyone get too close that they would find out what I really was like, and I didn’t want that. I could go from crying to acting like the happiest person in the world in moments.
I began to dislike church. Every sermon would convict me in some way about my salvation. I was in constant turmoil, yet hid it from everyone. Every night I would pray, asking God to save me. But it wasn’t real, because I was trusting in my prayer. I was so afraid that if I missed one word, God wouldn’t accept it. So over and over I would pray, trying to make sure everything was word perfect. But nothing would change. My sin and confusion grew stronger and stronger. I was sure I was saved because I prayed a prayer, but I didn’t have the power of God in my life either. Pride kept me in its grip once again. I refused to confide in anyone for fear of what they would think.
Then in order to try to get the conviction away and get some sort of peace, I began to tell myself that I had plenty of time. I was only fourteen. When I was eighteen or nineteen, I would be much wiser (I’m nineteen now, boy was I wrong then). I would then be able to figure it all out. I tried to comfort myself with those thoughts, but to no avail. It was merely an attempt to remove the guilt and pain.
But five years ago today, it all changed. Now it may sound funny, but God used a squirrel to get my attention. I lived in Maine at the time and my parents were in the church choir, so we arrived at church half an hour early. I usually watched my youngest sister while they practiced. As we arrived at church that morning, I began to run down the sidewalk towards the church building. Then a squirrel fell from the sky. It could’ve fallen from the telephone poles, but it looked like it came from higher than that. No matter where it came from, it landed in front of me on the sidewalk. It was so confused and scared, that it darted into the road right in front of a car. There was a smack, then the squirrel lay dead on the road. This all happened under fifteen seconds.
As I watched my sister waiting for the choir practice to finish, I thought about that incident. Just a couple minutes earlier, that squirrel was enjoying life. Then just like that, it was gone. I began to realize that I may not have the years I convinced myself I had. I could walk out of church after the service, and with one wrong move, I could be just like that squirrel. And I honestly did not know whether I would be in heaven or hell. The thought unnerved me.
Then when the preaching came that day, God really began to work on me. The pastor preached on different types of peace a Christian will have. The first was the peace of salvation. It was then that God convicted me. I knew I did not have that peace. I didn’t pay attention to the rest of the sermon. I knew I had to get it settled. I knew I wasn’t saved.
When the sermon was over, the pastor had an invitation. The next ten seconds, I stood there while the biggest battle for my soul occurred. Satan immediately began to throw attacks at me. He did not want to give up his place of power in my life.
“You don’t want to do this.”
“What will your parents and family think?”
“You’re acting silly.”
And I almost made a fatal mistake. I almost let my pride win. I almost told myself: I’ll do it later, when I’m alone. “Pride goeth before destruction” almost became my verse. But then God spoke to me.
“Don’t be a coward and wait. You need to come to me NOW.”
Then the biggest miracle in my life happened. God gave me the strength to shove aside my pride. He gave me the strength to overcome my fears of parents and peers. He gave me the fear of Him. I realized I needed to get this fixed now and with the power of God with me, I walked up to pastor and told him.
“I don’t think I’m saved.”
He took me to another room, and after briefly talking to me, I accepted Christ as my savior. Ever since then, God’s been working on me. Another few years, and He got my past my pride for a second time to confess my sin to my parents. I’ve grown in the Lord; I’ve seen His power in my life. No, I’m not the best Christian, not even close. But the true love of God is in me now. I’ve had doubts about my salvation since then, even recently. But when that happens, I replay this event in my life, and think about the miracle that God did on that day. The first fourteen years of my live was a steady decline. But the last five years? God has worked and strengthened me in ways I could never had on my own. And I give God all the glory and honor for it! To think that He would care for me so much to save me on that day!
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”. Pride almost took me down five years ago. Don’t let it take down you.