Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
In college, I had a good freshman year playing basketball. I was making friends, school was going well. Then pride started creeping in. Confidence is fine, but pride is where you start thinking of yourself as more important and better than other people. You can see signs of it with the guy who has to check the stat sheets after the game. Then you notice he forces shots up when other players are open and have a better opportunity to score. Pride usually takes a while to build up. Destruction and a fall are usually fast.
For me, it was during an all school picnic at the park. Some other group was playing softball, and a guy hit a ball past the outfielders. It rolled right up to the tables where i was standing with a group of friends. It only took a few seconds for me to realize the ball was coming to us, take a few step forward to get the ball, and then throw it all the way to home plate to show everyone how good I was. Oh yeah, part way through the throw there was a squishy sound in my arm.
The arm didn’t bother me much the rest of college, except if I was rebounding and it was pulled back at just the right angle. Then it would drop to my side and I couldn’t make it move for a minute or two. Life went on, married had kids, stopped playing sports and concentrated on work. Then one day my daughter wanted to play catch. She was interested in baseball. I went to throw the ball, and i couldn’t go through the motion. Eventually I went to a sports medicine doctor and he recognized the problem right away — frozen shoulder. The ligaments and tendons were sticking to each other. He gave me three simple exercises and said — Do these and it will get better, don’t do them and it will get worse. He was completely accurate. I’ve been doing the exercises almost every day for the last 10 years. It gets just a little better each year, and I can actually throw a ball now.
I got off easy. Pride build up. I did something stupid to show off. And now I have a reminder 40 years later, that pride leads to destruction. People have done dumber things when pride built up in them, and the consequences have been worse.
Learn from my mistake and the mistakes of others. You can avoid the consequences that will follow.