Pride and the lemon meringue pie

By Sandra Sheridan

Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

Have you ever noticed how often prideful words come back to haunt you? It has happened to me lots of time. Knowing when to keep my mouth shut is an important lesson to learn, but some habits are hard to break. Often the recompense for my boasts is known only to me but other times … AARRGGHH!!!

It was the summer of 1987 – that glorious summer Dad and I met. As is common with young couples falling in love, I went through the various emotions of elation and insecurity. I was constantly trying to be my best self so as to impress the guy who had succeeded in making my heart beat wildly every time he was around.

In the course of one of our conversations the topic of cooking came up. Well, what better way was there to capture a man than with culinary skill? So I casually worked into the conversation my amazing abilities to create lovely dishes – my specialty being lemon meringue pie. I figured there was no need to mention that I had only made the pie a few times, and that with the help of my grandmother.

Alas, soon after that conversation I wished I could devour those words. A week or so later a fellow camp staff member invited a group of us to spend some downtime at her nearby residence. Getting off the campground was a treat, so we all eagerly accepted her gracious invitation and offered to meet early to help with whatever was necessary for dinner preparations.

Imagine my surprise when Karen requested that I prepare – of all things – a lemon meringue pie! She gave no indication of noticing my wide-eyed expression and unnatural smile as I hesitantly agreed while wondering if this was a joke. I didn’t have my no-fail recipe with me … and I didn’t have my grandma there either! What was I going to do?

When we got to her home Karen gave me her recipe, a bowl, and kitchen utensils. I took a deep breath and began the process with trepidation. When mealtime arrived I was pleased with the results. The pie was perfect – a fluffy white mountain of meringue with brown, toasted peaks topped the yellow sea of lemon goodness. It seemed I could prove my boasts true and Dad would be impressed. All was well until we cut the first piece. It immediately became evident that the insides of the pie had not set. With the piercing of the knife, my ocean of filling cut loose into a river of lemon waters. We had to scoop it up with a spoon and serve it in a bowl. What a mess!

I am glad to say that Dad thought my pie was great anyway. But years later I still cringe as I think how my words so quickly came back to haunt me. The good news is I learned an important, though embarrassing, lesson. There are many things that God hates – pride is one of them. He doesn’t let his children get away with it. Pride always goes before a fall! And sometimes He even gives us a lesson in humility with a simple thing like a lemon meringue pie! — Love, Mama

By Sandra Sheridan

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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