Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Proverbs 13:10 – Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (NIV 1984)
There is always this connection between strife and pride. Pride will drive us toward self-importance which lures us to fight for favorable outcomes and unfair advantages for ourselves. That is the reason strife always happens when pride is involved.
When two persons with differing or conflicting opinions come together and refuse to consider the feelings and viewpoints of the other party, such a situation will usually breed strife. However, when someone is able to value and accept others who may hold different viewpoints as equally valid opinions for consideration – not necessarily in full agreement, such conciliatory gestures usually promote peace.
Wise people pay attention to advise. Not that all advice and counsel are good and applicable, but when we listen to others, we are given the opportunity to look at another point of view for further consideration and evaluation; Lest we miss out considering other possibilities. Rarely there is only one way to resolve a particular situation.
Jonathan Edwards wrote an excellent essay on the issue of “Undetected Pride”. In his writing, he listed 7 symptoms of spiritual pride which would bring about quarrels and strife among brethren.
- Fault-finding: Pride causes us to overlook our shortcomings and find faults on others.
- A harsh spirit: Pride causes us to be frustrated and annoyed by the failings of others and hinders us from treating them with love and gentleness.
(“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”- Galatians 6:1)
- Superficially: Pride causes us to put forward a good outward appearance with little concern for the inward condition of our heart. We would then far more concern with others’ perceptions of us than the reality of our hearts with God.
- Defensiveness: Pride causes us to protect ourselves from hurt which would result to hurt others and not trust God.
- Presumption before God: Pride causes us to feel entitled, yet not adequately mindful of God.
- Desperation for attention: Pride causes us to seek the attention of others to boost our self-esteem rather than seek to please God.
- Neglecting Others: Pride causes us to prefer some people over others.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)
Dear Heavenly Father,
We confess that if we have neglected your teaching, please forgive us.
Thank You for the words of wisdom which are found in the Scripture. Keep us from prideful insolence and destructive strife and teach us to walk in your way. Grant us wisdom from above and help us to be willing to learn from your godly counsel. Help us to take to heart all the teachings found in Your Word, and enable us, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, to apply all we have learned in our everyday life – so that we are not only good and faithful witnesses of Your love and grace – but also worthy members of Your body honoring Your holy name.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Ps. Wallace Ong