A story was once told about one of the largest tankers on the ocean. The tanker detected a light in the distance and signaled to what appeared to be a smaller ship to change course. The signaling continued between them, but the tanker captain refused to change course, and the signal in the distance never changed either. Angrily, the tanker captain radioed proudly, “I am the captain, and I’m driving the largest tanker in this ocean. Change your course.”
The captain was incredulous when there still wasn’t a change from the flashing light in the distance. Finally, a meek but steady voice came over the radio, “I am the petty officer on duty, and this is the lighthouse.” Swallowing his pride, the captain changed course.
So close to the shore and so much danger! The signals were there. Repeated communication had taken place. Pride nearly cost the captain his ship, and it would have harmed not only him, but all those with him. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (NASB). A second passage, Proverbs 11:12 says, “When pride comes, then comes dishonor. But with the humble is wisdom” (NASB).
The Bible gives a clear picture of what happens when pride fills our lives, but in contrast, tells us that wisdom is the prize of a humble person. Volumes of self-help literature and probably millions of pages are dedicated to helping us be our better selves, trying to make us wise. But, the Bible does it in one word; we are instructed to be humble. Approaching the people and situations in our life with humility rather than squaring off to get our way demonstrates wisdom.
Let’s put aside what we think we know, put aside our arguments, put aside the need to have it our way. Instead, let’s rediscover humility, and in doing so, we discover the wisdom of the Ages. Like the tanker’s captain, our lives and the lives of those who surround us depend on it.