Pride: The Wrong Side of the Lake

by Larry Hehn on August 10, 2010

prideEvery year my family and I visit the beach at Christie Lake Conservation Area for a day of rest and relaxation. The people at Christie have installed a special screen that allows them to chlorinate part of the water and keep it separate from the rest of the lake. Swimming outside of this designated swimming area could pose a health risk, and is prohibited.

Of course, we didn’t know that until my wife and my nephew David – the family rebels – decided to test their endurance by swimming beyond the screen to the other side of the lake and back.

As they returned from the other side, a pleasant young lady in khakis walked down to shore and called them in. She politely explained how the screen works and how they test the swimming water daily to ensure its safety, and how the outside water could be contaminated and unsafe. Monique and David apologized and promised to stay on the safe side of the screen.

Less than an hour later, a grumpy old man also skirted the safety screen and started swimming laps, back and forth, along the opposite side. Again, one of the conservation workers – and several other people in the water and on the shore – tried to get his attention to warn him of the hazard and ask him to return to the chlorinated side of the lake.

Nothing seemed to catch his attention until my brother-in-law Chris swam out to the barrier and flagged him down. Even though Chris kindly explained the rules of the park and the potential health hazard, the old man rudely told him to mind his own business and continued his swim for another half an hour.

Thankfully, neither Monique nor David suffered any ill effects from swimming in the untreated water. I’m not sure if Mister Grumpy Pants fared as well. However, I do know that his pride set him up for a potentially big fall. It was easy for me to recognize, since pride is probably my biggest stumbling block as well.

Pride makes me always have to be “right”. Pride keeps me from acknowledging my faults and asking for forgiveness. Pride keeps me from seeking advice from others who are probably wiser. Pride puts my selfish ideas and desires ahead of God and His direction. Pride puts me on the dangerous side of the lake.

What side of the lake are you swimming in?

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

God opposes the proud but favors the humble. – Proverbs 3:34

What benefits does your pride keep you from?

What perils does your pride expose you to?

Is the water that much better on the contaminated side of the lake?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue East August 11, 2010 at 1:26 am

This was excellent Larry. What a great visual with Spiritual parallels.



Larry_Hehn August 11, 2010 at 6:55 am

Thanks, Sue. I think pride is definitely more than just a personal issue for me. It's something that is swallowing our culture, and we often seem to be unaware of the perils of feeding the 'pride monster'. I hope and pray that we all learn to recognize more each day the stranglehold it can get on our lives, and to stay on the safe side of the lake. Cheers!


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