La Junta UMC
La Junta UMC

Pride Leads to Shame

Proverbs 11:2

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom."



Herb Brooks was born August 5, 1937 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He was a gifted college hockey athlete and was preparing to go to the 1960’s winter Olympics.  He was a star and he could play so well.


And then he was the last man cut.  He couldn’t believe it.  He was cut just a week before the Olympics were set to start in Squaw Valley.


He called home and complained feverishly to his father.  How could the coach cut me; what kind of man would do that to someone like me?  I am an awesome hockey player and deserve as much as anyone to be going to compete for Gold!


His father cut him off and told him to shut up, go back to his coach and thank him and get his “butt” (not the word used) back to Minnesota ASAP.


The three weeks passed and before he knew it the winter Olympics were in full swing and he and his father watched as the USA team played amazing hockey and finally won Gold!


His father simply turned to his son and said “Looks like he cut the right person.”


Being cut from the 1960’s Olympics was a huge blow to Herb Brooks.  His pride quickly led to shame as he was cut just before the team would go to not just play in the Olympics but to also win Gold. His father’s words haunted him for two decades.


Twenty years later he coached the 1980’s Olympic hockey team to victory in what is now referred to as the miracle on ice.  USA beat the Soviet Union in the middle of the cold war when it seemed that the Soviet’s couldn’t be beat.  It truly was a miracle and it was led by Herb Brooks. 


It was said that while all the players rushed the ice to celebrate, he pumped his fists into the sky once and quietly went back to the locker room, locked the door to the stall, and cried.


In our scripture reading today we are reminded that pride leads to shame but humility lies in our wisdom.


We rarely want to be reminded that we aren’t the greatest thing since sliced bread or that we ARE NOT the center of the universe.


We so often want to be special (believe me when I say we are all so special) in ways that are more special than others.  God is reminding us that we should be desperately seeking humility rather than pride.  We should not seek out how we are better than someone else but instead ask how can we better than the worst in ourselves.


Do you struggle with wanting to be the best but find yourself falling short?  I know I do.  Our church is growing, but guess what: there will always be pastors with churches growing faster than ours.  There are runners who have been running as long as I have and run a mile almost three minutes faster than I do.  Pride leads to shame but wisdom leads to humility.


We often discover this too late and our boasting and pride leads us to be “shown up” by someone better at the thing. 


When we discover life isn’t a competition and that everyone can win, we then open up God’s Kingdom in a powerful way.  You don’t have to lose for me to win and I don’t have to be the best to be my best.  We are all created in the image of God with unique gifts and blessings and talents.  You are unique and that is a wonderful thing.  You mustn’t compare yourself to other people even when they do the same things as you.  At the risk of sounding like Mr. Rogers: God made you, to simply be you, and that is absolutely good enough.

May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward

Upcoming Events:

      Adult Studies:

We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.


Monthly Potluck:

Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship. 


Military Appreciation Breakfast

Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:

Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.


United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:

Third Thursday of every month: March 17, April 21, May 19.


United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:

*Postponed Until Further Notice


Office Hours:

Tuesday: 8-12 am

Wednesday: 8-11 am

Thursday: 8-11 am

Contact Us

La Junta United Methodist Church

601 San Juan Ave

La Junta, CO 81050


Phone: (719) 384-7717


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