There are many who believe getting a man to admit when he’s wrong is right up there with convincing him to stop and ask for directions. Pride is an honorable trait in America. We are really encouraged to be proud. Be proud of your country, your state, your school, your “good” grades, your achievements, your organization or association, your profession, etc. There really is no end to the things Americans are proud of. Generally, because we are encouraged to be proud, as Americans, are very tolerant about pride. This is a bit surprising when you consider America is traditionally known for the most part to be a Christian Nation after all it was supposedly founded on biblical principles, and the Bible has nothing good to say about pride at all. As a matter of fact, a favorite expression in our country is a paraphrase of Proverbs 16:18 “pride goeth before the fall,” of course that verse reads “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Never the less In spite of this well-known Biblical expression, Americans are among the most prideful people in the world.
Why is it that some people always have to be right, no matter what the situation? Our pride does this. The closer you get to the truth or the reality of the subject at hand, the angrier some people become. Why is it so hard for us to admit when we’re wrong? Pride forces a person to think only about himself, his world, and what is important to him. One reason is pride – an attitude that says, “I know more than you do, and therefore I am right and you are wrong.” I suspect we’ve all known people like this, and it’s admittedly hard to get along with them that is unless you always take the high road allowing them their own way, which by the way, may cause even more problems. The reality is, occasionally we all have the tendency to be stubborn.
Being occasionally stubborn is one thing, but continual Pride is a very dangerous thing, because it blinds us to our own faults and cuts us off from others, and from God. Even when confronted point blank with the power of God some people refused to believe. Just as it was with the Israelites we read in Leviticus 26:19, “I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron”. We are so accustomed to warnings in life, and so used to them proving to be groundless, that we have learned to take them in stride indeed, often ignoring them altogether. Leviticus 26 is one of the clearest words of warning in the Pentateuch. It is reiterated more emphatically later on in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy. The Israelites did not heed this warning and they paid a severe penalty for NOT doing so.
Even today we are refusing to heed the many warnings of God. We may even believe that the warning found here in Leviticus is one that we can easily ignore. After all, we are not Israel; we do not live in the land of Canaan; and we don’t live under the Mosaic Covenant, but under the New Covenant. So then, why not simply pass by this passage altogether, tipping our mental hats to it, and if need be, not get too serious about it? Remember, these are those who eye witnessed all the miracles God did, but they still refused to heed the warnings. As a matter of fact we find later in history, some of these same people, and same type of people not only rejected Jesus, they also plotted his murder. They were so hardened that they preferred to reject God’s son rather than admit that they were wrong. Let us beware of PRIDE if we allow it to grow it can lead us into enormous sin.
The Pharisees convinced themselves they were better than others and avoided those they saw as lower than themselves. Along came Jesus confusing them, you see His authority and healing power could have allowed Him to choose His associates and to gain status in the synagogue. Instead He was moved with compassion toward those who called upon Him: the sick, destitute, and unclean.
Pride makes us blind to the work of God. We forget His sovereignty. Pride also blinds us to our own need for a Savior, and we withhold grace from those we feel do not deserve it. It is important to confess our pride or we will end up like the Pharisees, taking God’s grace for granted and missing opportunities to lead others to Christ. We must turn to God and humble ourselves before Christ – who humbled himself for us by dying on the cross for our sins. The Bible says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2.