By Joe Smith

    Have you ever been asked the question, “Are you good at hockey?” Maybe in a conversation it comes up that you play or have played some hockey and the person simply asks, “So, are you any good?” What a loaded (and kind of dumb) question! Good compared to what? Compared to the entire human population? Ya, I guess I’m pretty good. What about when compared to an NHL player? I couldn’t carry the guy’s gear into the rink! So, if you make that comparison then I’m not a very good hockey player.

    Jonathan Toew's Stanley Cup Example

    It’s all about comparison. When trying out for a hockey team the coaches and scouts are looking at how you would fit in the league or team when compared to how another competing player would fit. During the season there are always comparisons about the best players on each team and how they stack up against each other. Pride is so prevalent in the hockey world and it is always refreshing when we hear about some truly humble people. Someone once counted the number of times Jonathan Toews used the pronouns “I” and “we” during his interview after winning the Stanley Cup. Word spread quickly through the media that there was not one mention of the word “I” during the entire segment.

    Herod's Example of the Danger in Pride

    Herod Agrippa was King at the time shortly after the death of Jesus, and he was not too pleased with the disciples going around and talking about their friend who had recently been crucified. More than that, who they claimed had been raised again to life. Herod was on a bit of a mission to rid the world of these “Christians.” However, Herod was temporarily sidetracked from this mission when he traveled to play peacekeeper between two fighting peoples. The Bible says: “…Herod wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a God, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts 12:21-23).

    WOW! What a way to go! Herod said something so enlightening, wise, and popular that the people compared him to a god.  They had never hear anything quite so awesome when compared to other Kings and nobility at the time. Prideful Herod though he nailed the speech and took the glory for himself, instead of passing it along to God. So, God decided to strike him down. Now, let’s not jump to conclusions here and think that God lashes out and strikes down all the prideful people in the world. If that were the case we would all be pretty “wormy.” Instead, God shows us mercy every single day in ways that we will never understand, but that doesn’t mean he condones our pride and sin. Our accomplishments are all part of God’s sovereign plan for our lives so why not thank Him for giving us talents and gifts?! Don’t be a “Wormy Herod.” Graciously accept whatever compliments you receive, but always give the credit to the one who created it all….The one who gave it all and continues to give us His all.

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