My Mom used to say, “talking to you is like talking to a wall.” The truth is that about sums it up for me for most of my life. I like to think that changed when I became a Christian but 02 prideI don’t think Bible College and Seminary helped much. There’s a saying in the evangelical community about those who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. It goes like this: “You can always tell a Dallas man, but you can’t tell him very much.” It doesn’t take much pride to close our eyes and ears to the truth that surrounds us every day. Jeremiah is going to tell us in chapter 9 that “the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Who can know it?” Yep, it’s easy to deceive myself about myself and close my eyes and ears to the truth. My Mom said “there’s no use in talking to you” with great frustration and weariness in her voice.

You can sense the same frustration in the Prophet himself in Jeremiah 6:10. He says, “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.” Yep, to Jeremiah talking to the people of Jerusalem was like talking to a wall. The translator’s handbook says, “In fact, the people’s stubborn refusal to listen has led to the point where they cannot listen; that is, they are now incapable of hearing. Their ears are closed, they cannot listen is translated by tev as ‘They are stubborn and refuse to listen to your message.’”[1]

There’s a point that can be reached in every and any relationship where the parties are totally polarized and no amount of pleading, bargaining, compromising will break through the hardened attitudes of people. It’s usually pride.  Yep, pride is the greatest of all sins. We find its source in Lucifer himself. It’s true in politics. It’s true on the job. It’s true in the church, and it’s true in the family. I remember Roger Miller’s song from the 60’s, “Husbands and Wives.” One verse says, “Two broken hearts lonely looking houses, where nobody lives. Two people each having so much pride inside neither side forgives. The angry words spoken in haste, such a waste of two lives. It’s my belief pride is the chief cause in the decline of the number of husbands and wives.” It’s the chief cause in the decline of any and every relationship; such a waste.

tev Today’s English Version

[1] Barclay M. Newman Jr. and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on Jeremiah, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2003), 188.