“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
G. K. Chesterton once wrote in the book Heretics, “We all believe fairy-tales, and live in them.”1
Think about it: our lives are based on dreams we have of our future, movie theaters bring in billions of dollars every year, and even Jesus spoke with fictional stories. We call those stories parables.
One of the greatest parables of the Twentieth Century was written by a friend of Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, and is titled The Lord of the Rings.
The main antagonist of the book, though barely ever seen, is Sauron. He considered himself pretty important.
To attempt to control the world, known as Middle Earth, he created rings for each of the species that had power: Elves, Dwarfs, and Men.
He had one more for himself, The One Ring. Inscribed in magical letters on the ring was this:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
Sauron used the one tool to control others that he possessed and that he knew the other races possessed: pride.
There was just one thing he never expected: two little creatures with no agenda other than to protect their comfortable lives. He expected great armies to attack him, because he is so great there is nothing less they could do.
He did not expect two little hobbits to walk quietly through the back door, destroying all of his hopes and dreams in one quick second.
His pride trapped him in a way he never expected.
That old Devil, Satan, attempted to take the rightful place of God. It was his pride getting in his way that caused him to be cast out of God’s presence. Eventually he will be cast into the Lake of Fire of eternal destruction.
He realizes it is not enough to attack God, so he created rings to give the (seemingly) most powerful beings on Earth.
Each ring looks different, but they use the same trick as Sauron’s: our pride.
Every time we give in to our pride, we side with Satan. Every time we side with Satan, we guarantee our destruction.
Great God, help us overcome our pride. Teach us true humility, that we may not fall away from Your grace and forgiveness but into Your loving arms.