Pride Goes Before… COVID19

Pride Goes Before…

Of course, first we pray for all of those who are infected with COVID 19, including especially the president and those around him. Sincerely, as a person of faith, my heart and prayers go out to those who have learned and are learning of their real or potential infection with this virus. We pray for Melania Trump, Hope Hicks and others around them.

Second thoughts go to lessons learned as a child. This wisdom is drawn from Proverbs 16:18 (“Pride goeth before destruction“). When did I first hear the expression “Pride goes before the fall”? I suspect it was at some point in elementary school. Over and again in life, this wisdom has been illustrated. This ancient wisdom asks us to live with humble respect for knowledge and the care of others.

Sadly the president is disrespectful of science and the well-being of others. Only a day or so before his infection was discovered, Mr. Trump said “the end of the pandemic is in sight.”

This is a tragic morality tale. I suspect Mr. Trump’s words and behaviors over the past nine months will become a core illustration of the scriptural proverb. Pride does go before the fall. Hubris, in action and/or words, can boomerang back on the head of those too arrogant to accept such a basic human reality.

Now, a proud man, a stubborn man, one who with arrogant pride ridiculed others, illustrates this truth. He who thumbed his nose at medical experts; he who spoke dismissively of others who wore masks; is coming to terms with his overblown hubris. Gallons of hydroxycloriquine can’t fix this. What a strange new test this is for our democracy that is already being severely tested. There is no bunker to protect him from his own pride.

The virus was politicized but the virus wasn’t political. This is not a reality show. Children will be learning this real-life-example of hubris and linking it to this Biblical wisdom for decades to come.

Yes, we pray for our president and for all of his maladies.

7 thoughts on “Pride Goes Before… COVID19

  1. Phil, I am confident it was not your intent, but it sounds to me that you are very close to saying that President Trump’s illness is a result of his sin of pride. Are we now to view the illnesses of conservatives as a form of divine judgment. I realize the counter to my comment might be to say the blog was focused on the natural consequence of pride. However, any number of people have flaunted medical advise on protective measures without contracting Covid 19. Additionally, any number of people worked hard at safe distancing, elbow bumping, face masks, and so on, but did catch the virus. I know we both understand God to be loving and merciful and that the rain falls on the just and the wicked. So, did you intend to infer Trump’s illness to be divine restitution?


    1. Thanks for your good questions and thoughts, Jack. Of course I am not saying that there is divine judgement against conservatives. You are correct. Mr. Trump brought this on himself — by his activities. It is not God who is punishing. Ironically, it is Donald who refuses to act in the ways that are respectfully of others — or medical experts — or even a stupid virus — and the natural consequences follow.

      Let me share these verses from Proverbs. 16:17 “The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives.” 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall.” 16:19 “Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” 16:20 “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”

      I don’t consider Donald Trump to be a conservative in his personal life, or frankly in many of his policies: his personal behaviors, his language, his economic practices and policies, his care creation, his honoring of alliances or treaties. His behaviors are not conservative. Wearing a mask is a Conservative value. Conservatives I know — and the places I attempt to be conservative — involve wanting to conserve the lives of others. Mask wearing is more about caring for others more than it is about caring for yourself.

      Mr. Trump’s denial of basic science, his efforts to diminish facts and label things that might hurt his image as “fake,” his need to blame others and avoid personal responsibility — these and not tied to any political ideology. These are not the cause of divine retribution. His illness (from COVID19) aligns with his brokenness as a person and one who lacks regard or respect for others. I pray for him, truly, in this COVID illness, and as a man who does not act in ways which indicate he has learned of, or understood the gifts of, a loving and gracious God. Gifts offered to him and others — including the 200,000 plus who have died of this virus. So, yes, pride has goes before the fall.


  2. Well said, Philip. Like you, I hope President Trump recovers fully from his illness and learns something from the experience of getting it. I also agree with you that, in any case, the consequences of his pride, or as you’ve also aptly call it, his hubris, will not be forgotten for a long time.


  3. You are too generous, Kay. Don’t tempt me to pride! I want this man out of that office AND I don’t want his failed leadership to harm more people. Still, with all his flaws… he is God’ child.


    1. You are right — I am asking a lot. Actually, like many of us, I have wondered when this news might come. Sad, so sad, and so many sick and dead. I can pray for his health; he will need to make some decisions about his soul. My sense is that his legacy is now pretty well set.


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