I always enjoyed hanging out with Southern Baptist Preacher Denvil Taylor because he was so full of biblical wisdom and because he was so very witty.
Denvil and I were coon hunting one night several years ago when he told the old joke about a prideful young lady who made an appointment with her pastor to discuss a sin that had been troubling her for years.
“You see,” she told her pastor, “every time I’m in a gathering with other women, I look around and begin to gloat because I see that I am far more beautiful than all the others. What can I do about this sin?”
“That’s not sin, sister,” the pastor told her. “You just need glasses.”
I’ve heard a few variations of that old joke over the years, but I like Denvil’s best.
The Bible has lots to say about the sin of pride, which has been defined as the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it.
God says in Proverbs 8:13 that He hates pride and arrogance.
We see that in His dealing with Lucifer, who at one time was a beautiful angel but who became altogether evil, as we see in Isaiah 14:13 where he said, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God.”
Lucifer was supposed to be serving God, but instead he was seething, because he wanted to be worshipped. Long story short, God kicked Lucifer out of Heaven.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning. How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations” (Isaiah 14:12).
Lucifer’s prideful, evil ambitions were his downfall.
“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).
If only we could keep in mind what the preachers of old repeated often, that we’re nothing more than decorated dust. We may put on fancy clothes, but underneath, we’re just decorated dust. The Bible says, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19).
We may comb and color our hair and brush makeup across our cheeks, but we’re just decorated dust. We may strap jewels around our necks and put diamonds on our fingers, but we’re just decorated dust.
And, as unwelcome as the news would be to the lady in Denvil’s joke, she, too, is nothing more than decorated dust.
Perhaps the pastor’s remark about her needing glasses would help her to see that.
Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.