Reading: 2 Chronicles 26:15-16
In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Who has not watched the spectacular flameout of a promising sports star?
The yellow brick road to stardom is littered with the burned out hulks and speedsters who parlayed fame to fortune, only to turn their fortunes to dust. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “It is best not to drink too deeply from a cup full of fame. It can be very intoxicating, and intoxicated people often do foolish things.”
Uzziah was just such a man. He was marked for greatness from his youth. He flew higher and ruled longer than most kings, but fame ultimately clipped his wings. He died a leper.
If you have a measure of fame, treat it like bottled nitroglycerin. If you yearn for fame, beware that your yearnings do not make you a fool. If fame is unlikely to touch your life, guard your heart against other forms of pride that work to strip the believer of spiritual discernment and power.
To borrow John Wooden’s analogy, pride is a powerful inebriant. If you drink much at all, you’ll go blind. When Christians embrace sobriety and humility, our gifts display God’s glory. Prideful indulgence leads to a wasted life.