Stubborn Pride


I have listened carefully. But they do not say what is right. They refuse to turn away from their sins. No one says, ‘What have I done?’ All of them go their own way. They are like horses charging into battle.

~Jeremiah 8:6, NIrV


A man will do more to satisfy his stubborn pride than he will do for God or country.

E. W. Howe

I cannot read Jeremiah 8 without feeling the prophet’s pain. He wanted Judah to repent so bad he could taste it but Judah had no intentions of repenting. They would not even acknowledge their sin. They were feeding on lies. Both prophet and priest were putting a band-aid on a deep festering wound. Instead of denouncing evil, the spiritual leaders were preaching positive thinking. They were proclaiming  “peace all is well,” when things were not well. No one was confessing sin, no one was ashamed of sin; Jeremiah said, “No one even blushes about sin.” Jeremiah hoped for peace; he longed for revival; he yearned to see Jehovah enthroned in the hearts of the people. He hoped to see the nations spiritual sickness healed but it wasn’t happening and he knew it. Jeremiah knew the Babylonians were coming and he knew what they would do once they arrived. They were coming to destroy the land and everything in it. Jeremiah laments, “My people are going to be crushed so I am crushed. I mourn, I am filled with horror. Isn’t there any healing lotion in Gilead? Is there no doctor in the house.”

Can a person be in rebellion against God and not be aware of what they are doing? Did these Jews have no moral compass, did they not understand right from wrong? No, they knew they were sinning but didn’t care. Their hearts were set on having their own way. This is the essence of sin, “I must have my way.” It is this selfish pride that leads a man to act like a fool and rebel against God, even though he knows deep down, he cannot win. By the way, there is a balm in Gilead, there is a Doctor in the house: His name is Jesus but we have to denounce our stubborn pride for Him to make a house call.

Today is the big day {50th High School Class Reunion} and I will not lie, I am very apprehensive. The tension began building Thursday and I am very anxious for this to be over with. I know I will enjoy see some of my old class mates but they have me doing the blessing before the meal and the memorials. I’m fairly certain, I will not pray a politically correct prayer. I want you to pray for me as I attempt to share the gospel in a 60 second prayer. I’ve been studying my annual but for the life of me, there are people there that I just cannot remember and some of them signed my annual. There is a little history here: I do not know how many reunions this class has had but the first one came while I was in Seminary. They were having it at the Country Club so I knew what that meant [liquor flowing] so I responded with a stern letter telling them to make it more family oriented. As you might guess, I was never invited to another. I did find out about one 30 years ago and crash it. I stood at the door and greeted but when the party began, I left. I am shocked that they invited me and doubly shocked that I am on the program. I could use some prayer.

John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

Deceased members of the 1967 Athens High Graduating Class

  1. Alvie “Ray” Anerton
  2. “Freddie” Meral Buchanan
  3. Susan Tourney Coggins “Suzy”
  4. Muriel Stanley Cooper “Stan”
  5. “Barbara” Jean Adams Cornett
  6. Howard Thomas Cuskaden “Tom”
  7. Mary Kathryn  Keyes Flippone “Kay”
  8. Glenda “Joyce” Emerson Haggard
  9. “James” Harvey Hardiman
  10. 10.“Morris” Wayne Hill
  11. “Larry” Wayne Holt
  12. “Nancy” Ann Sneed Hughes
  13. Isaac Logan Howard “Ike”
  14. “James” Richard Mason
  15. “Jan” Caroll Stringer
  16. “Tate” Aristide Tacon
  17.  Katherine Neale Young “Kay”
  18. “Sherry” Black Phillips
  19. “Emily” Diane Freeman Durham

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