A memory came to mind while I was driving my daughter to school…
I am driving my grandparents to Culver’s to eat lunch. They lived in a suburb north of Chicago, so there is a lot of traffic, but I was used to it so I am relaxed and comfortable at the wheel. We run another errand or two while we are out. When we get back, my Grandfather starts to talk to me about my driving. He was critiquing my driving skills and has found some things he thinks I should do differently.
I was hurt and a little offended. I have always considered myself a safe and cautious driver. I proceeded to talk to my parents about what my Grandpa said, and then to my aunts, and then to the rest of my family. I got pretty heated in my defense of myself in some of those conversations.
I look back on that now, and feel rather embarrassed by my behavior. However, I see clearly a struggle that still plagues me today. My pride gets in the way of me accepting correction. My Grandfather was a man of God, he loved me, and most importantly he is my elder. I should have listened to his counsel and said, “Yes, Sir,” and then just gone on and taken the advice and then kept silent about it.
Why is it so hard to accept correction? Even from friends or family? Even when we know that someone is right- why is it so hard to just admit it?
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
10 Where there is strife, there is pride,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
2 Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
I made several prideful mistakes in my conduct. As the verses above say, I lashed out in pride, I talked to everyone but my Grandpa about the fact that I found his censure of me unfair.
And instead of letting it go, I kept feeding my feelings of pride and hurt by continuing to bring up the issue again and again.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!
17 The highway of the upright avoids evil;
those who guard their ways preserve their lives.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD.
21 The wise in heart are called discerning,
and gracious words promote instruction.
22 Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent,
but folly brings punishment to fools.
23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,
and their lips promote instruction.
24 Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
I believe there is much that we can learn by examining past mistakes- and humbly seeking the Lord’s help to change those areas where sin has a foothold.
So as I remember this season of my life, I pray that God would continue to mold me into His image- to clothe me with humility and strip away my pride- so that I may be a more effective witness for Him.