Arrogant Fools

Arrogant Fools

I ran into an interesting line in a book I was reading:

"Arrogance makes a man stupid,
stupidity can make him even more arrogant."

L. E. Modesitt

It reminded me of what Paul noted: "We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know" (I Corinthians 8:1-2). We all learn things in school and in life and we can deceive ourselves into thinking we know everything that needs to be known. Our knowledge feeds our pride, but that very pride in what we know keeps us from learning and realizing that we really don't know much at all.

Proverbs notes the same thing: "Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him" (Proverbs 26:12). At least the ignorant person realizes he needs to learn, the arrogant man has too much pride to realize just how dumb he is. But a really dumb person doesn't realize how little he knows, so he isn't motivated to learn. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). And that ignorance causes him to become more prideful. "In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them" (Proverbs 14:3).

It becomes another cycle that spins out of control. I bring this up because we talked several times about how your pride was harming you. From that position of pride, you proceeded to make a number of dumb decisions:

  • Hang around drug addicts and call them "friends."
  • Decide you can get yourself off of drugs, though you never can quite get the motivation to stick with it.
  • Live with your father, who just can't bring himself to tell you "no" because he fears for your safety.
  • Avoid everyone who disagrees with your decisions so you can fool yourself into thinking you are all right.
  • Go to church services on Sunday morning while living in sin through the week and tell yourself you are a "good" man.

And as soon as someone points out how stupid your behavior is, you throw up your walls of pride -- and so you never learn.

That is why people talk about the fact that an addict, like yourself, has to hit rock bottom before they come out of their addiction. The addict has to have his pride broken so he can start to learn. I know that as you continue down this path you are heading for a big fall. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). Humility will prevent the inevitable, but it looks like you rather stubbornly cling to your pride.

It is hard to express how much that tears me up inside. I hope and pray you survive your fall. Whether you destroy yourself or not is your decision, not mine. Thus, I must wait to see when you learn that drugs are the road to hell and that you don't want to be on that road. I'm waiting here for you to turn around.