The Death that Pride Built
Whom would the king delight to honor more than me? Esther 6:6
Today’s passage on pride, as always, is for me. Though I find other’s pride so ugly, I find I am often completely comfortable with my own.
In the story, Haman was elevated to a powerful position by the king of Persia, but Mordecai, a Jew, refused to bow to him. While this infuriated Haman, he did not possess the power to kill Mordecai, so he conceived a plot to manipulate the king into killing all of the Jews.
Queen Esther, a Jew and Mordecai’s cousin, agreed to use her position to petition the king who promised to do whatever she asked. Esther’s asked that the king attend a banquet with only Haman and her. Haman was enthralled that he was singled out for this honor but could not enjoy the moment as Mordecai still refused to bow to him.
In his rage, Haman built gallows specifically for Mordecai, but before he could hang him, someone reminded the king that Mordecai had once saved his life. The king made Haman parade Mordecai on a horse through the city, honoring him. If Haman’s downfall was not yet complete, Esther then revealed to the king that Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews would include her as she was one of them. Haman soon hung from his own gallows.
I may not be guilty of trying to kill anyone, but Haman’s lesson is still painfully applicable to me. Just as Haman’s pride built his own gallows, leading to his physical death, my pride once built a life centered around me, leading to spiritual death. Drugs were not my primary addiction. My greatest addiction has simply been to me. My pride may look different than Haman’s, but it was my pride that said, I will do this my way. It was my pride that said, I’m not an addict. I don’t need help. It is my pride that still points my life at me instead of God.
There is another way though. If I want to build life instead of death, I can choose humility, saying, Not me, but you, God. In faith, I can daily turn my gaze to the Father, embracing His will, not mine.