“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.-Mark 14:26-31
One of the quietest, most humble Presidents to ever lead our country was Abraham Lincoln. He was known to stop along campaign routes to talk with voters and even entertain the requests of children. The story is told that he once received a letter from a young girl who told him he should grow out his beard so his face wouldn’t look so skinny. Lincoln followed the request, hence the bearded face we’re all used to.
Lincoln was a firm believer in the providence of God and even gave obeisance to God’s provision in his address to the nation about the National Day of Fasting and Prayer in 1863. He also issued a stark warning about not giving God the praise He deserved.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
Lincoln didn’t accept any praise for leading the nation through a turbulent time but pointed the people to God and advised that they thank Him for their blessings.
Pride is a sin that those who have it assume they don’t. Pride can blind someone and cause them to ignore even the toughest of warnings. Remember Peter’s pride? Even though Jesus warned him that he would deny Christ, Peter scoffed and ignored the Lord’s warning.
But just as Jesus predicted, Peter denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed, “And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.” (Mark 14:70-72)
Be careful that pride doesn’t fill your heart and cause you to turn a deaf ear to correction and help. If you immediately feel defensive or combative when someone corrects you, be careful that pride isn’t keeping you from listening to help from others.
Take a minute to evaluate your heart. Has pride filled your heart? Do you become defensive when someone corrects you? Ask God to expose any pride you might have and humble yourself before Him. Be careful to not allow pride in your life by staying humble each day.(Dr. Paul Chappell)