“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12) Death of course here speaks of the second death, (Rev. 21:8) eternal separation from the love of God for all time, inconceivable to the born-again believer who contemplates the Word of God.
While we are experiencing pleasures forevermore, (Psalm 16:11) these lost forever souls will be eternally punished. But today, while they still draw breath, everything they do, for the most part, seems right, it seems as if they are on the right path to themselves. It matters not if they are the head of a corporation, the leader of a nation, whether in puppet form or behind the scenes, or if they have spent their lives taking care of the less fortunate, without Christ, without the intention that all they think, do, and say is to be for the glory of God, they believe themselves to be right.
There is a sense of self-satisfaction we feel when we are right, even occasionally for those who have been crucified with Christ, for us it is a great distaste the moment we realize it. “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust,” (Psalm 103:14) comes into our minds, and if we repent of this moment of pride, we are forgiven, and we have learned something about ourselves. For that is what is necessary for anyone to think and hold onto the idea that they are right, pride, it was the iniquity that was found in Satan, (Eze. 28:15) it was the thought, in part, in the mind of Adam before he took a bite of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Gen. 3:6) and it has been the main cause of all sin upon this planet, for pride instantaneously brings disobedience to the will of God in our lives.
Pride is that feeling we get when we win an argument, it is the emotion that lifts us up when all else are wrong, and we have the correct answer, it is us when we believe that what we think is right, but it is a terrible sin when we place what we think is right above what the Word of God says is the truth.
Here is where erring on the side of caution is necessary when we are speaking to an individual about matters pertaining to the Scriptures arise, and we find that the Lord has used us to show the truth to that person, when both parties understand that they were wrong, and you were right. Our normal response is one of self-elation, we put ourselves on a pedestal for knowing the truth and giving that truth to the hearer. “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” (Prov. 9:9) This should be the response, yet far too often the one who has been shown the error of their thoughts and ways will immediately put up a defensive attitude, because we all want to be right.
The individual who will acknowledge their error, who will rejoice in the knowledge that truth has been shown to them will grow, will use that truth to search out other areas where they might have been mistaken, and then in love will give this same truth to others. But that is not what usually happens, is it. Most times we receive a gruff response, many times the hearer will respond with unkind words, words meant to hurt, because you have hurt their pride, you have shown them that they were wrong, and we want to be right.
There are two verses that fit the situation that has been presented here, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6) And “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” (John 8:45) When you are shown the truth, you must, after deciding if indeed it is indisputable truth, pick one of these two verses. One brings growth, the other will assist you in continuing to believe you are right. The choice, as always, is up to you.