Proverbs 6:3, 4
Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor. Do not give sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids.
It was the easy way out, but that didn’t make it the right thing to do. Pride is such a destructive characteristic to hold on to. It swells up inside, always growing, never ending. Once you have allowed it to find a home within your mind it takes root and begins its intrusive course. Before you’re aware of what happened, pride has overcome your being like an unwanted vine in the garden. You soon forget that it wasn’t always there and allow every decision to be based upon its well-being. Rather than tending to the garden, you now nourish the intruder. Is this honestly the easy way out?
If pride is an unwanted weed, fighting to overtake the whole, it is possible that the strongest foothold may be gained in the area of confession. No doubt we have all wronged a friend on more than one occasion; chances are that pride has been along for the ride. It’s such a faithful companion in threatening confrontations. Justification is it’s number one game. “You didn’t start it,” or, “They had it coming anyway.” Whatever the defense, “It’s not your place to offer reconciliation.” So you run. You run from the truth, the apology, and the right thing to do. Attempting to save face, your actions only strengthen the weed, ensuring it’s future return to be even more difficult to ignore. It was the easy way out.
I challenge you to look beyond protecting yourself and the easy thing to do. I encourage you to find your way through the destructive branches of pride and to observe once again the truths of Scripture. Have you forgotten the peace that comes from a garden not overgrown with weeds? Proverbs 6 so wisely commands us to pursue the forgiveness of those who have been wronged by our words or actions. King Solomon writes, “Do not give sleep to your eyes, or slumber to your eyelids.” I have to wonder if he thinks of his father David while penning these words. Although guilty of horrible sins, David is labeled, “A man after God’s own heart.” This title was granted not to a man that lived to save his own reputation, but to a man who pursued forgiveness like a precious jewel. The only difference between David and King Saul before him was a repenting heart. Proverbs 6:5 explains that the person who seeks forgiveness from his neighbor experiences freedom like a gazelle that escapes the hand of a hunter.
It’s time to prune your garden. It’s time to take out the word of God and to cut back the vine of pride. I personally never enjoyed the work of gardening. It’s a difficult task and you often become worn out and dirty. There may be nothing more important to your relationship with God though. The individual who takes the easy way out and yields to the overbearing weight of a growing pride is like the gazelle that doesn’t attempt to escape the hand of the hunter… foolish and assured a quick demise. I beg you to pursue those you have offended and resist the destructive ways of pride. It may be both the hardest and the best thing you ever did for yourself.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (Proverbs 16:18, 19).