It goes something like this: hanging curveball, monster home run, bat flip, slow trot, lots of yelling, someone gets drilled with a fastball, benches clear, media goes crazy, players are suspended, the debate continues.

A bat flip after a home run always draws opposite reactions. Some say we should just leave the player alone…he’s just having a little fun. Others say all he’s doing is being arrogant and showing up the pitcher and opposing team.

To be sure, some bat flips are simply reactions to something great done on the field, done out of excitement for hitting a homerun. Others, of course, are not so innocent. Some have a specific purpose: to throw down the proverbial gauntlet to the pitcher and let him know he can’t beat you.

It’s the latter bat flip that causes the controversy. It’s that bat flip that we usually have a problem with. There’s just something about blatant arrogance that makes us feel uncomfortable and even angry. Why is that? I think it’s that we are all made in the image of God and still have a reaction against certain things because it’s just built into us.

Regardless of where you stand on bat flips, one thing is clear–God doesn’t like pride. Proverbs 11:2 reiterates it this way–“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.”

Often, we honor the people who draw the most attention to themselves, but not God. Why does he hate pride so much?

It keeps us from admitting our need for him. Jesus said that those who are “poor in spirit” can receive God’s salvation and kingdom…they are the ones who admit they need him.

It keeps us from living in wisdom. Pride clouds our thinking and judgment. It keeps us focused on ourselves. When we operate from a selfish perspective, godly wisdom is the furthest thing from our minds.

It brings dishonor. This verse isn’t necessarily referring to earthly dishonor, although that’s certainly possible (after all, no one really likes people who are arrogant). Ultimately, it points to the dishonor that comes when we stand before God at judgment. Those who are proud resist him, will not surrender to Jesus, and want to live their own way. Dishonor awaits them one day, sadly.

Humility, admitting our humanity, inadequacy, sinful nature and behavior, inability to do anything truly good in God’s eyes, need for Jesus…that’s what God honors, receives, and blesses.

Don’t bat flip in life, assuming you’ve done something great and that God should be impressed. He’s “impressed” only by faith and humility. With those things comes the wisdom and honor only he can give.

Lord Jesus, kill my pride. Show me clearly where I’m “bat-flipping” in life. I humble myself before you today in faith. Amen.