by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
My favorite childhood memory is camping at Detroit Lake on Piety Island. The amenities were non-existent, but the exploring was phenomenal. During the summer of my 6th grade year I brought a friend whom I was determined to impress with my expert hiking skills. I managed to convince my parents that I no longer needed adult supervision to navigate the rugged trails (and promised we would not go far). Confidently, I led the way up the trail and into the dense forest with my reluctant co-adventurer. At the agreed upon boundary I decided to keep going, excitedly chatting away. Not long after, I somehow veered off onto a deer trail into dark and unfamiliar territory. Brushing off my friend’s concern, I was not about to admit that I had no idea where we were, and reassured her that you really can’t get lost on an island.
Pride is a dangerous enemy lurking in our hearts and minds. Poor choices, disrespectful or rebellious attitudes, arrogance, vanity, laziness, selfishness (just to name a few issues), are all flaming red flags of a sin problem sponsored by pride. Because it is such a hindrance to spiritual growth, a key component of discipleship is training our children to search their hearts and minds for the signs of pride, and equipping them with the weapons that destroy it. Such an arsenal exists in book of Proverbs, and the wisdom of Solomon, “He wrote them to teach his people how to live -- how to act in every circumstance, for he wanted them to be understanding, just and fair in everything they did.” Prov 1:1-3 TLB).
The book of Proverbs provides short and to the point truths for building Christ-like character: “The Lord detests the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished” 16:5, “with humility comes wisdom” 11:2, “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” 18:10, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding” 3:13. Equipped with the weapons of humility, wisdom, and understanding, it is then crucial to learn how to draw closer to and be led by the Holy Spirit. Add in the practices of prayer, worship, and the assessment of outside influencers, and spiritual fruit will begin to appear, along with God’s blessing.
God is faithful to rescue us from our pride either by our request and cooperation, or divine intervention. As a child, I often learned that concept the hard way, forging my own trail, each time ending up lost and broken. Thankfully, God’s mercy and grace abound, and despite a series of prideful decisions back on that Island, He provided protection, rescue, and some pretty significant life lessons.
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal