The Power of Pride

Our daily struggle during Great Lent is much more than fasting. Great Lent is a struggle against pride. We all have it. We all struggle to subdue it, or at least we should. We all fall to its power through temptation and ego. It is what holds us back.

The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan.  These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled. Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent.  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.  Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.  When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”  He also said, “Blessed by the LORD my God be Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.  God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.”  After the flood Noah lived three hundred and fifty years.  All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.  These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood.

Genesis 9.18-10.1

With all the talk about how righteous Noah was, it can be a shock to hear how he could not escape his pride and temptation. As if getting drunk wasn’t ‘bad enough’ he took his anger out on his grandson. He cursed his own flesh and blood.

We can learn from today’s story about Noah. Pride is a powerful thing, and it can ‘take down’ the most noble and strongest of men. The problem with pride is, it never wins in our spiritual battle. Pride only knocks us down. It can never raise us up, no matter what our ego thinks.

It would have been better for Noah to be thankful that his sons thought enough to cover his nakedness. It would have been better for Noah if he had not gotten drunk. It also would have been better for Ham to cover his father rather than tell his brothers.

There is enough pride to ‘go around’ in today’s story. That much has never changed. I am often comforted by the reminder that even the righteous struggle with the same temptations that I struggle with. It isn’t an excuse, but it does comfort me knowing I’m not alone in my struggle.

Sometimes it is just enough to be reminded we are not alone. If we have learned anything, we have learned that every human being struggles. Adam and Eve struggled. Noah and his family struggled. Don’t let this truth take away your hope. Remember that God promised to save us, even though we struggle with pride.

I invite you to spend the day thanking God that He hasn’t given up on you. Now, don’t give up on yourself. If heaven was promised to Adam and Eve, and Noah and his family, and they struggled with pride, then heaven is promised for you too. Just keep up the fight.

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