When pride gains a foothold in our lives, we tend to lose our compassion for the poor and oppressed. A caring sensitive pastor recently said with sorrow in his heart that he believed pride was one factor that kept his church from touching the life of a 17-year-old boy before he committed suicide. The teenager, his mother, and his brother lived in an old rented house adjoining the church parking lot. Everybody knew he had been in some trouble with the law. So why didn’t anyone make a serious effort to reach him? Probably because the church members thought of him and his family as “not our kind of people.”
This sounds similar to the situation described in Amos, chapter 6. In this account, the Israelites who were prosperous looked with disdain on the poor people among them and the Gentiles who lived around them. In addition, they had an arrogant pride in everything they had accomplished, and they failed to give God any credit for it. But Amos proclaimed the Lord’s warnings about coming judgment an invasion by enemy forces, and a devastating plague. The prophet declared that it is just as absurd for proud people to expect God’s blessing as it is to run horses on a rocky cliff or to plow there with oxen.
Do we have some of that pride Amos warned about? Do we refuse to associate with certain people because they are “not our kind,” or because they do not have as many material goods as we have? Beware! That’s dangerous. God hates pride! – Herb Vander Lugt
Do not neglect the weak or odd,
But show to them the love of God;
It is a sin, and heaven will frown
If with disdain we put them down. – H. G. Bosch
Never look down on your fellowman; only God sits that high.
- March 17, 1985, Our Daily Bread