Harmless, Part 3

The idea of a city of peace is something generations have entertained. But wanting the idea to happen is not the same thing as acting on it.

The Lord is going to return to dwell in a city of peace. But that city will (must) exist before His return. He will not assume control over a contentious, quarreling, strife-filled group and make them better. He is willing to instruct people who want to accept His instruction, and in that way lead us to that result. He is (as always) willing to gather us as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But we determine whether we can be gathered.

Harmless: Pride

The proud will be destroyed by the Lord at His return. “For behold, the day comes that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble. And the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” OC Mal. 1:10. Those words alone should make us abandon pride. But there’s plenty of other words to make it clear: Pride is destructive to the individual, their families, and to communities.

“He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife[.]” OC Proverbs 4:94.

“The Lord will destroy the house of the proud[.]” Id. 2:176.

“Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” Id. 2:189. Think of that – Pride is an abomination to the Lord.

The Lord responded to us and provided His covenant, but He began with a warning about there being unacceptable pride among us, “You have asked of me concerning the scriptures prepared on behalf of all those who seek to become my covenant people, and therefore I answer you on behalf of all the people, and not as to any individual. For there are those who are humble, patient, and easily persuaded. Nevertheless, people who are quarrelsome and proud are also among you[.]” T&C 157:1.

Why is pride so offensive?

The Lord alone deserves our respect, attention and obedience. The rebellion that began in heaven itself was instigated by pride. It is reported that Lucifer held these proud thoughts about himself, “[Y]ou have said in your heart, I will ascend into Heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” OC Isa. 6:6. He was not willing to follow God, but wanted to pursue his own self-will. Given that God has stated it is His work and His glory to bring about the eternal life and exaltation of man (OC Gen. 1:7), Lucifer could have achieved through humility what he forfeited through pride.

There have been many people who were willing to follow the Lord for a short time. But by and by, they aspire to get attention, gratify their pride and satisfy their vain ambition. The Lord took notice of them in a parable about sowing seeds, “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and immediately they sprung up. And when the sun was up, they were scorched because they had no deepness of earth; and because they had no root, they withered away.” NC Matt. 7:1. We’ve lost some of those from our ranks. They still are out there, seeking notice, asking for donations, insisting they can teach you Torah and bring you closer to salvation, or other vain undertakings.

The Lord has a great deal more in store for those who follow Him. But the proud wander away into other fields, and ultimately will be burned at His coming. When we are proud we are not harmless. We are a threat.

A city of peace cannot include the proud because they cannot abide peacefully with others. Their self-will and vaunting pride makes them discontent, and their discontent spreads outward. It cannot allow peace to settle into the community.