"Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life" Proverbs 22:4
A few months ago Andres Galarraga pitched a one-hitter for the Detroit tigers that will forever be known as the infamous “should’ve been a perfect game”.
Umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly called batter safe when replays showed that the runner was clearly out. A week later, in the World Cup, the United States scored a beautiful game-winning goal against Slovenia only to have it groundlessly nullified by Referee Koman Coulibaly, sending the entire country into an uproar. These two incidents may seem unrelated and unimportant in the grand scheme of life, but in reality, the way that they were handled serves as a critical teaching point for Christians.
In one instance, Umpire Joyce realized the error of his ways and had enough humility to personally apologize to Galarraga and also make public statement regarding his mistake. On the other hand, Referee Coulibaly was not nearly as contrite as Umpire Joyce. After numerous soccer experts and analysts realized that Coulibaly was wrong, he still refused to even acknowledge his mistake, let alone apologize for it. His lack of humility not only caused worldwide disdain for him but it also a demotion, whereas Joyce’s humility is lauded not only by players, coaches, and fans, but also by God.
In our own lives, oftentimes it is difficult to show humility and it is even harder to admit that we are wrong. In the Bible, Peter and Judas were in similar situations as Joyce and Coulibaly, and both handled themselves differently. Jesus warned Peter that Satan was waiting to “sift him like wheat” and that Peter would deny him three times.
Peter pridefully objected, only to fall into Satan’s trap the next morning. Peter learned from his pride however, and humbled himself asking for Jesus’ forgiveness; subsequently he went on to be one of the leaders of the early Church.
Judas on the other hand was not so fortunate. His pride caused him to think that he didn’t need Jesus, ultimately prompting him to betray the Messiah. Instead of repenting and asking for God’s forgiveness, he hung himself.
For us as Christians we have two choices: pride or humility. In Proverbs 18:12 tells us, “Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Even when we do make the mistake of choosing pride, let’s remember to humble ourselves to God because He is always there to forgive us.