Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. was the United States General who led the coalition forces during the Gulf War. He once told a story of his first class at “charm school” which he attended when he became a general.
He and 35 other “one star” generals were all required to attend classes designed to help them get a broader view of their responsibilities as general officers of the army. The classes were also designed to teach them better manners and the political realities of a military that is under civilian authority (I guess that’s why it’s called “charm school”).
When the 36 men gathered there for their first session, they all expected to be affirmed as the best of the best the army had to offer. In the front of the class behind the podium stood the more seasoned general who would instruct them. His eyes grazed over his students a long time before he spoke.
When he finally began he said, “If you had all traveled here together in an airplane, and it crashed and killed you, do you know what would happen?” The young generals kept their eyes focused on him, hanging on his words. He continued, “We would go back out into the field and get 36 more colonels just as good as you to take your place.”
I love that story. That general knew what he was doing. He just helped those men escape a trap. The trap that is Pride.
Pride is such a dangerous disease. It crawls into your mind and then spreads like a toxin into your whole body. It can make good men into fools. Let me warn you. Before you start elevating yourself in your job, or in your family, consider what the bible says about being proud:
Pride is dangerous because it not only causes God to resist you, He sets a battle against you….
God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
To oppose means to square off in battle. It’s one thing to have an argument with a family member, but to have the Creator of the Universe designing strategies to humble you (in other words, bring you down)… Trust me, you don’t want that.
Pride is the precursor to calamity.
It’s like a road sign “Catastrophe up ahead”
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3
That is why we need good honest friends who can tell us if they see or smell pride on us. It blinds us. We usually can’t see it, but everyone else can. This price for pride is too great to be ignored. It will bring calamity on you and those closest to you.
So I encourage you, ask someone who knows you (and isn’t afraid to be honest with you) to give you a pride check. It will guard you in the long run.