Ice Fishing Pride

Have you ever refused someone’s help only to find out later, you needed it? I went ice fishing with a group from our church a few years ago. It was good fun as we waited for the fish to bite. Suddenly I had a fish on my line. It was a good fight. As I started getting the fish toward the surface, I could see it was a big one. One of the men came over to look. He offered to help me get the fish through the hole in the ice. I refused saying that I do it. He politely asked again. Again I said no.

About a minute or two later, while lifting the fish through the hole, the line broke. Of course, it slide down and swam away. The man saw how big the fish was. At least I had a witness to “the big one that got away.”

But why did the fish get away? Was it my pride thinking that I could do it myself? I know part of the reason I refused his help was that I hate to inconvenience anyone. I didn’t want to put him out. But he offered not once but a few times as I was fighting the fish. How foolish I was. He would have been able to reach into the hole and grab the fish, pulling it safely through.  I had tried to muscle it.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Pride gets in our way so often. Whatever excuse we give, it basically comes down to pride. “I can do it myself.” There are times in our lives we could use help. I know I have offered to help and been refused. But then, I wonder how many times have I refused someone’s assistance? How often my pride gets in the way of real help.

There are people around each of us who would love to help. Do we let them? Does our pride keep us from showing we have a need? It’s pride. People want to help. There is joy in helping others and we are robbing them of that joy. Let them help.

Is God confronting you with your pride? I remember hearing about our son Chris confessing his pride before the Lord. He said that after he finished praying he thought that he had done a good job of confessing his pride. He immediately was convicted again. He was proud of how well he had confessed being proud. He said he went back on his knees humbly before the Lord.

Pride stops us from much good. God wants to help. People want to help. Let them. Be humble and accept the help God sends your way. I sure wish I had caught that fish. It was a big one!

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