THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO PRIDE.
Two hitchhikers met on the on-ramp to a major expressway.
"Where ya headed?" the first hitchhiker asked.
"Chicago," the second answered.
"Whaddya know? That's where I'm headed, too."
"Well, isn't that fine!" said his companion. "Which way is it?"
The first hitchhiker pointed to a green-and-white highway sign that loomed over their heads. "That there sign says Chicago's that-a-way." He pointed toward the northbound lanes of the expressway.
The second hitchhiker looked at the sign and nodded. "It sure does," he said. He studied the other hitchhiker's face. "But I'm still wondering. Maybe it's that way," he said, pointing to the southbound lanes of the expressway.
The two watched the traffic flowing south for a few moments. Then the second hitchhiker shrugged and hitched his baggy pants a little higher on his hips. "Some-times it's just hard to know for sure, ain't it?" And he and his companion sauntered down the ramp toward the traffic that was heading south . . . away from Chicago.
That's pretty dumb, isn't it? They stood right under a sign showing them the right way, and they still acted as if they didn't know which way was right.
Of course, people do that all the time, especially when it comes to right and wrong. For example, God has made it perfectly clear in his Word that it's wrong to be conceited and prideful; yet people still act as if they're better than other people.
But we don't have to wonder whether pride is right or wrong. In Romans 12:16, God says [through the apostle Paul], "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position." And then, just in case you didn't get the message the first time, he repeats it in slightly different words: "Do not be conceited." That's pretty clear-as clear as a road sign.
REFLECT: What do you think it means to be conceited? (If you don't know, try looking up the word conceit in a dictionary.) What does it mean to be humble? Do you have to decide whether being conceited and proud is right or wrong? Why or why not?
ACT: Using a piece of cardboard or construction paper, make a road sign with the word conceit written on it and the international "no" symbol over it (a bold red circle with a diagonal red line through it). Use it as a reminder to "just say no" to pride.
PRAY: "Dear heavenly Father, I don't want to be like those two hitchhikers in today's reading. Help me to remember and obey your command not to be proud or conceited or to think that I'm better than someone else."