Intellectual Pride

Seven Sins of Judah

1) Greed

2) Self-indulgence

3) Cynical Unbelief

4) Perversion of Morality

5) Intellectual Pride

6) Intemperance

7) Corrupt Judges

Intellectual Pride

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:21

You do not need to look too far to find intellectual pride. I have had the privilege of working with all kinds of people, including the highly educated. And I can personally attest to the fact of how damaging intellectual pride can be. There is nothing that hardens a heart more or stops progress faster than this type of pride. People who are wise in their own eyes tend to talk much, listen little, refuse to take counsel, and insist upon their own way. In John 9 we find this type of problem with the Pharisees when they repeatedly question a man born blind who is healed by Jesus. After the second set of questions, the Pharisees’ final response to the man who was healed is this, “‘You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?’ And they cast him out.” (John 9:34) They would not listen to someone is such a lowly position. In Proverbs it says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (11:2) and “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (12:15) One of the main problems with intellectual pride is that it is deceptive. We think we know everything when in reality we don’t know much at all. We tend to think because we are knowledgeable in a few areas that we are knowledgeable in many areas. We also tend to be attracted to the shiny. We love the glitter of a shiny life. Sometimes the glitter may be the real thing, but many times it is a colossal house of cards. Pride is a tricky sin, especially intellectual pride, because even as we try to amend our ways we tend to look for the smart and wise in the wrong places. Wisdom is found through humility and often discovered in humble people, but that is the last place we think to look. I am constantly reminded of the wisdom of the poor man found in Ecclesiastes:

There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.” (Ecclesiastes 9:14-16)

One thought on “Intellectual Pride

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