The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall


Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

Boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I didn’t watch the match between Brazil and Germany, and I’m glad I didn’t; and I bet there are those that did watch the match that wished they hadn’t. Final score: Germany 7 – Brazil 1. And it wasn’t that close. It was a jaw-dropping meltdown of epic proportions.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Goliath was supposed to crush little David. The New England Patriots were supposed to defeat the New York Football Giants. Twice. The New York Yankees were supposed to defeat their arch rival, the Boston Red Sox, AGAIN, this time in game four of the ALCS because they had a 3-0 lead. And Brazil was supposed to defeat Germany because they were the HOME team, and they had all of the emotion and momentum. Hmmm. Didn’t quite turn out that way, did it?

It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Tears turned to sobs, weeping turned to wailing, moans turned to groans, and Germany turned Brazil inside out and up side down in the worst home loss in World Cup history. No two countries have played more World Cup games than Germany (104) and Brazil (102), which is amazing when you consider that Tuesday’s semifinal in Belo Horizonte was just the second time they’ve played each other on soccer’s biggest stage.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Brazil has hardly been overwhelming, tying Mexico 0-0 in group play and then Chile 1-1 in the round of 16 before advancing on penalty kicks. Even in the quarterfinals against Colombia, a 2-0 lead quickly became 2-1, setting up a tortuous final 10 minutes. And Germany has hardly dominated, either, at least not after waxing Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal 4-0 in its opener. The scores since: 2-2 against Ghana, 1-0 against the United States 2-1 against Algeria in overtime and 1-0 against France.

Regardless, it wasn’t supposed to turn out quite this way. These two heavyweights climbed into the ring and the expectation was that the home team would ride on emotion and just outrun and outplay and somehow out-duel the Germans on their way to a win that would wow the world. Not so.

And so the moral of the story is this: humility still wins the day. The quality or condition of being humble, having a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank, and demonstrating lowliness, meekness and submissiveness is still to be preferred over and above arrogance and insolence, conceit and contempt, derision and disdain. The enemy of winning with dignity is losing with ignominy. But that’s what happened to the Brazilians.

It wasn’t supposed to, but it did. So let’s not let that ever happen to us. Don’t let that ever happen to you. Instead, be humble, be respectful, be modest; be meek and mild not sleek and wild. So let’s learn a lesson from the Brazilians. Pride still goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit still comes right before a fall.

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