If I had one sermon to preach, it would be a sermon against Pride. The more I see of existence the more I am convinced of the reality of the old religious thesis, that all evil began with some attempt at superiority; some moment when, as we might say, the very skies were cracked across like a mirror, because there was a sneer in Heaven.
~G.K. Chesterton, from The Common Man
Are you teachable? If not, the likely barrier is arrogance. Like the warden said to Paul Newman’s character in Cool Hand Luke, “some men you just can’t reach” because of their bowed-up stubbornness. Many people live a life much harder than it has to be because they just won’t learn unless they learn the hard way, and as a result their pride gets them beaten all the time.
Sometimes we just can’t see the source of our pride. Our close friends, and especially fellow believers, however, can help. Before this day ends, arrange to have a conversation with someone whose confidence you trust. Ask the person this simple question, “What am I arrogant about?” Prepare to listen without defensiveness. After the conversation with your friend, say a prayer asking God to reveal to you two things: (1) whether a true word has been spoken by your friend and, (2) if so, how to remove this source of arrogance.
Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.