Humility, Not Pride: Keeping Ice Off Your Bow

Tony was a professinoal salt-water fisherman. He explained how he cruised out to sea each morning, coming back each evening with his catch.

"Is there a part of the year you can 't go out?" I asked. "The winter--too risky. Below freezing, the spray starts forming ice on the bow. The added weight makes the bow of the boat lie lower in the water. Inexperienced guys fishing in winter have allowed so much ice to build up on the bow that in heavy seas the bow starts to dip beneath the waves. One dip too deep, and she goes down. Only thing to do for it is to grab and ax and knock the ice off once in a while. If you forget and let it build up, you're dead."

Think of that bow-ice as representing sinful pride. Little by little it builds up until you can't stay spiritually afloat a moment longer.

Look at the Pharisees. They didn't intend to be so arrogant. Jesus called them blind because they were unaware they had this problem. But little by little their self-congratulatory attitude expanded their egos until their spirituality was shipwrecked.

We modern believers face a similar challenge. What can we do to knock off the pride weighting us down? Here are a few principles from Scripture.

  • I must regard others as better than myself (Phil. 2:3). As far as I can tell, I am forgiven a debt of millions of sins, compared my brother or sister forgiven only a few dozen (Matt. 18:23-35).
  • I must be willing to associate with the humble (Rom. 12:16). Or it could be translated, "Be willing to perform humble tasks." I learn humility by imitating it and by practicing it.
  • I must continually recognize my debt to the Savior: without Him I would be hopelessly lost (Rom. 5:6-8).

    Little by little, day by day, let's keep the "ice" off our bows. Disaster awaits anyone who ignores this warning.

    Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

    Go to his DeeperStudy.org for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."

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