The level of pride evident in many of our world leaders is astonishing and very disheartening. Seeing the responses of some world leaders to the recent COVID-19 crisis left me wondering if they would pop if I pressed a pin into them. Aren’t our leaders supposed to be examples? I mean, how can we look up to our leaders when they are constantly point the finger of blame, running down anyone who takes a stand against them and participating in blackmail and bullying?
Don’t these leaders know they are placed in their positions by God (“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” Romans 13:1 NIV)? Don’t they realize that they are accountable to Him and Him alone?
The Bible is full of examples of world leaders full of pride. Nebuchadnezzar comes to mind. He was given a dream, a dream which he didn’t understand. He called in Daniel, and here are Daniel’s words: “Your Majesty, you are that tree… You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” (Daniel 4:22,25 NIV). And we know that this came to pass: “Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.” (Daniel 4:33 NIV).
A similar story comes in the book of Acts: “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23 NIV)
And so my rant continued…
Until one day…
While I was ranting about a particular world leader whose backstabbing, bullying and finger-pointing had reached the point that I was literally boiling inside just thinking about him, I paused to take a breath… And in that 5 seconds of calm, I heard God’s voice: “And what about you? Are you free of pride? Remember: ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…’ (John 8:7b NIV)”
But Lord, I’m not a world leader! People don’t look up to me!
Instantly I knew my words were wrong. True, those in authority are held at a higher accountability than others, but that doesn’t mean that people like you and me are exempt from the need for humility!
When the Bible speaks out against pride, it doesn’t specify that it is only for an elite few. It doesn’t even mention authority figures. It simply says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18 NIV).
Of course this does include those in authority; but perhaps most importantly to you and me, it includes us as well. Just because our pride may not be manifested in such a public way doesn’t mean it isn’t destructive, and it doesn’t preclude us from a “fall”.
Let’s stop pointing the finger. Let’s stop accusing others of their pride. Instead, let’s take a long, God-filled look at our own lives. Ask God to show you where there is still pride hanging around!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.