Points to Ponder: Don't trip over your head

Points to Ponder
Don't trip over your head

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, and a man is valued by what others say of him" (Proverb 27:21).
It is certainly true that character and integrity are fundamentally important. Without these, you can never know your true potential. It's too deep within the soul, inaccessible to a superficial person. Even the most beautifully designed building will not stand if it lacks structural integrity.
In recent years we have seen numerous congressmen, governors, top athletes and media stars fall from great heights of success. All the years of work and study, and trial and error, and they finally made it to wonderful positions of prominence and influence. They made names for themselves, gaining the trust of people in authority as well as multitudes of voters, and fans, and admirers near and far.
"...a man is valued by what others say of him."
So what happened? How easy it is to forget that the more influential we become, the more our influence can backfire upon us. It is not a position of entitlement, but rather a position of responsibility. When one forgets that, pride enters the void and corruption spreads like a cancer.
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverb 16:18).
During the Civil War, at the Battle of the Wilderness, General John Sedgwick was leading Union troops through a fire fight. Sedgwick flaunted danger, never bothering to protect himself from enemy fire all around. His men urged him to exercise caution, but Sedgwich had no respect for the Confederate army.
"Nonsense!" he declared. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."
Like General Sedgwick, many people arrogantly bet their lives on their pride. "When pride comes, then comes shame" (Proverb 11:2).
Ultimately we will all be humbled. Either we will do so willingly or God will do it for us.
"'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:5c-7).

Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). These articles (and sermons) are also found at www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com. Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 10:45pm, both day).