Youthful Pride 1 Ki 12: 6-11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There is a cockiness in young people, ordinarily. We’ll call it youthful pride. As you can see from 1 Ki 12:6-11, Rehoboam had it, even though he was 41 years old when he ascended to the throne [1 Ki 14:21]. Youthful pride causes a young man to:
Reject the counsel of wiser men – 1 Ki 12:6-11. Before Rehoboam sought the counsel of the “young men that were grown up with him,” [1 Ki 12:10] he had already forsaken “the counsel of the old men,” that he had received [1 Ki 12:8]. He’ll tell you what he’s going to do, if he speaks with you about it, at all. Typically, he won’t ask you for counsel on what he ought to do. And if he does, he won’t follow your counsel unless it agrees with what he wants to do.
Think he’s right when he’s wrong – Prov 12:15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. He’ll think what he’s going to do is right because he’s the one who thought of it. It will surely seem like a good idea to him. When you show him the error of his way or of his thinking, he’ll resent you for trying to impede his good plan. And so, he’ll find a way to get it done in spite of you. Ahab is a prime example [1 Ki 22].
Be impetuous – Jud 14:1-3. Samson found a woman and told his father, “Get her for me.” Youthful pride leads a man to want it and I want it now, to be impatient. He’s not going to wait on God. He’s going to give no thought to the long-term consequences of his decisions. It will be impossible for him to be circumspect. He will often, therefore, lack prudence and throw caution to the wind. He doesn’t want to be told, “No.”
Be critical of others – Num 16:1-4. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were critical of Moses and Aaron. They thought they could do a better job than Moses and Aaron. This is amazing considering that Moses was very meek [Num 12:3] and did everything the Lord commanded him [Ex 39] except when the children of Israel provoked him to anger and he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it [Num 20:7-11]. Youthful pride leads young men to criticize others who are doing well just so they can have their place.
Seek recognition for himself – 1 Sam 13:3-4. Saul took the credit for something that Jonathan did. This is typical of young men, though Saul was Jonathan’s father. They want to be recognized for doing something significant. The underlying motive is to draw attention to themselves. Paul warned against this in 1 Cor 3:21, “Therefore let no man glory in men.”
The ways to protect yourself from youthful pride are to:
Humble yourself – 1 Sam 17:32-37, 45-47. David humbled himself before the great defeat of Goliath by magnifying the Lord. David was a mighty man of valor, but it was the Lord who delivered the lion, the bear, Goliath and all his enemies. Stay down and give God the glory.
Serve the Lord and others – Jos 1:1. Joshua avoided youthful pride by serving Moses. He eventually led Israel into the land of Canaan. There he said, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” [Jos 24:15]. Joseph, likewise, remained humble in his service to God and others. Youthful pride is self-serving. So, serve the Lord and others, instead.
Obey God’s words – 1 Sam 3:21, 12:1-5. God revealed himself to Samuel by the word of the Lord. And Samuel faithfully followed the Lord in everything he said. He could hold Saul to strict obedience of the words of God because Samuel had obeyed the words of God. When you obey God, you’ll seek and follow wise counsel, you’ll seek to do what God says is right, you’ll be circumspect, and you’ll not seek recognition for yourself by pulling down others.