Keep the ice off your bow
Tony was a professinoal salt-water fisherman. He explained how he cruised out to sea each morning, coming back each evening with his catch.
“Is there a part of the year you can’t go out?” I asked. “The winter--too risky. Below freezing, the spray starts forming ice on the bow. The added weight makes the boat lie lower in the water. Inexperienced guys fishing in winter have allowed so much ice to build up on the bow that in heavy seas the bow starts to dip beneath the waves. One dip too deep, and she goes down. Only thing to do for it is to grab and ax and knock the ice off once in a while. If you forget and let it build up, you’re dead.”
Think of that bow-ice as representing sinful pride. Little by little it builds up until you can’t stay spiritually afloat a moment longer.
Look at the Pharisees. They didn’t intend to be so arrogant. Jesus called them blind because they were unaware they had this problem. But little by little their self-congratulatory attitude expanded their egos until their spirituality was shipwrecked.
We modern believers face a similar challenge. What can we do to knock off the pride weighting us down? Here are a few principles from Scripture.
1) I must regard others as better than myself (Phil. 2:3). As far as I can tell, I am forgiven a debt of millions of sins, compared my brother or sister forgiven only a few dozen (Matt. 18:23-35).
2) I must be willing to associate with the humble (Rom. 12:16). Or it could be translated, “Be willing to perform humble tasks.” I learn humility by imitating it and by practicing it.
3) I must continually recognize my debt to the Savior—-without Him I would be hopelessly lost (Rom. 5:6-8). A heart filled with inexpressible gratitude cannot simultaneously swell with self satisfaction.
Little by little, day by day, let’s keep the “ice” off our bows. Disaster awaits anyone who ignores this warning.