For the past month I have been reflecting on how young men can guard themselves from pride. It seems that pride is perhaps the greatest foe young men of God face; it has the capacity to distort our zeal and our knowledge.
With this in mind, I want to draw our attention to a passage in scripture that I am convinced is appointed as guard to the young man’s soul against the awful onslaught of pride.
GUARDING THE TONGUE AGAINST PRIDE
The tongue is the favored instrument of pride; it speaks great boasts and is used to exalt itself over others. We all know that pride can inflict great wounds as it uses the tongue to trample others down.
But what can be done to resist pride’s surge into our life so that we might have time to humble ourselves before the Lord?
Let every man be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. ~James 1:19-20
This discipline of giving place to others by exercising a readiness to listen and a slowness to speech is one that severely limits pride’s opportunity to take hold of the tongue for its own purposes.
If we as young men learn this principle, we will have a strong guard in our life against pride.
Giving place to others allows us to take a position of meekness and give honor to others. It gives us time to consider our words and examine our heart.
To practice this discipline it is necessary that we have both resolve and humility. We must be willing to be last, and even unheard if necessary. And we must have strength of resolve not to give place to the tongue that will surely “quake” within us as it seeks opportunity to speak those unwanted words of pride!
Reflect on “why” pride prefers a ready tongue to a reluctant one.
A ready tongue is unbridled and easier to sway, whereas a reluctant one is under the control of a greater authority and much more difficult to persuade.
Most importantly, the Devil prefers a ready tongue because a ready tongue cannot impart grace. Grace takes time to cultivate. It has the meekness of the Lamb. But when it comes, it comes with the power of the King!
A reluctant tongue cultivates grace and is able to impart grace to its listeners.
In reflecting on my own past I have observed how the vast majority of my mistakes were made in being too quick to speak.
Be willing to listen and concern yourself with the concerns of others. In this you will find wisdom and peace.