FEBRUARY 17,  Proverbs 16:18


“My English report is due tomorrow, and I’m going to have the best one in the class!” announced Mark as he and his father got ready to play a game of ping pong. “Most of the kids write really bad essays! Besides, I must be the smartest guy in my standard. I got the top score on our spelling tests for three weeks in a row. And math is so simple…” Dad frowned as Mark bragged about his schoolwork. “Let’s start,” said Mark, bouncing the ball on the table. “I’ll soon have you begging for mercy with my smash!”


Dad grinned. “Well, you might, Mark,” he said, “and then again, you might find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. By the way, I know just the thing you should write about for your next report-the sinking of the Titanic.”


“That big ship?” asked Mark. “I read about it. It was one of the greatest transatlantic passenger ships of all time!”


Dad nodded. “It had elegant-crystal chandeliers, velvet curtains, fine china, even a ballroom with its own orchestra. You might say it was the pride of its era. Everyone thought the ship was unsinkable. Only problem was…” Dad let his voice trail off. “It sank.” Mark finished the sentence for him. “Why do you think that’s such a good topic for me?”


“You remind me of the Titanic, Mark. In some ways, I’m afraid you’re a little like it,” said Dad, twirling his paddle. “I am?” asked Mark, looking pleased. “You mean because it was a great ship and I do great in school and stuff?”


Dad shook his head sternly. “No, I mean because you sound very proud when you talk about yourself. Just like the Titanic which people of the era were proud of sank, pride can also cause you to fall. God is the source of all your talents and abilities, and you need to be thankful for them and do your best, not to be proud of yourself. When you get puffed up and put others down, you’re headed for trouble.”


“I… I see what you mean,” Mark admitted slowly. “Okay, Dad. I’m sorry, and I’ll try harder to give God all the credit.”


Thought: Humility is the best policy


Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me always to humble myself. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.