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The plight of Lady Sybil on TV's popular 'Downton Abbey' could be considered a case study in the perils of pride.
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EVERY SO OFTEN, a television series comes along that is so gripping it becomes a part of our collective conversation. I am reminded of shows from my childhood like "Dallas" and "M*A*S*H." More recent series like "Lost" and "American Idol" also come to mind. These are the shows that feed watercooler conversations the mornings after they air.
Within these shows, there always seems to be that one episode that takes our breath away and leaves us reeling.
For fans of the show "Downton Abbey" (spoiler alert!), watching the tragic and untimely death of Lady Sybil several weeks ago was like being blindsided by a freight train that we never saw coming. Twitter and Facebook feeds went crazy with people mourning the death of this fictional character.
I think that one of the reasons shows such as these have such profound emotional effects on us is because we see pieces of ourselves in their characters. Their very human flaws and weaknesses serve as warnings to us of what can happen when we make similar mistakes.
The episode in which Lady Sybil dies could be used as a case study for what happens when we allow pride and prejudice to cloud our judgment. Lord Grantham ignores the warnings from the "lowly country doctor" in favor of a more prominent physician who carries a title before his name. He allows the fear of offending someone of social distinction to come before the welfare of his own family--resulting in the horrible death of his youngest daughter.
We are all familiar with the verse from Psalm 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." But that verse is certainly not the only instance where pride is mentioned in the Bible. We can find the topic of pride no less than 47 times throughout Scripture.
Pride and its consequences led to the downfall of a long list of biblical characters, including the Israelites' first king, Saul. In fact, we need to read no further than the first few chapters of the Bible to see pride rear its ugly head. It was pride that led Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit in her desire to be like God.