When the Finger Points Back at You

“Young people are so prideful. They think they know it all. They’re arrogant and unteachable.” 

A friend was ranting about what a difficult time she was having parenting her young adult children.

“He wasted time, money, and effort,” she continued. “If he’d done what I suggested in the first place, he’d never have gotten into such a mess.” 

I nodded sympathetically. 

“The worst thing about it,” she said, “is that he's so PRIDEFUL. Why won’t he just admit he needs help? He thinks he knows it all.” 

Proverbs 15:31-33 spotlights this problem of prideful arrogance: 

“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gains understanding. 

A few days after this conversation, my husband and I were in the car. The air was mighty chilly, not because it was a cool day, but because we were at odds with each other. Even worse, we were at odds together on the way to church. 

I was driving, but I had only a vague idea of how to get from our new house to the church. But I sure wasn’t going to admit this to my husband. Especially not while we were giving each other the silent treatment. I wasn't going to ask for directions, because then I’d have to acknowledge he knew something I didn’t. 

He wasn’t volunteering any information, because, remember, we were giving each other the silent treatment. Everyone knows the person who speaks first during the game of silent treatment loses. 

So after taking the most circuitous route imaginable, we finally arrived at church--ten minutes late and grumpier than ever. 

“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul . . .” 

Sadly, it’s not just young adults who disdain instruction and pridefully refuse to ask for help. It’s middle adults, and older adults, and senior adults. It's you, and it's me. We’re prideful and hardheaded, oftentimes to our own harm. 

But I’m thankful God is patient with me. 

Day after day he offers his wisdom and guidance through his Word, his people, and his Holy Spirit. “If any of you lacks wisdom,” he calls, “let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him,” (James 1:5). 

He chides me for my prideful spirit and reminds me, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” 

If you, like me, struggle with pride, will you join me in laying it down? Remember, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). 

I certainly don’t want God to resist me. 

And who couldn’t use more grace?

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1 comment:

  1. Lori, in some way this post is hitting a bit too close to home. Pride is tricky and can be deadly. There seems to be a fine line between instructing someone and TELLING someone what to do. Some times, learning from our mistakes is the best teacher.