Are You Sure You’re Right?
Pompous. Arrogant. Ego driven. Self-absorbed. Proud. Conceited. What do you call a person that lives with every conversation, feeling, and event “all about me”! It is one thing to live with a sense of confidence. But, it is altogether something very different when one is so wrapped up in their own abilities that they see only their way as the right way and their opinion as “always correct”. That spirit can lead to the destruction of others because of living with blinders on.
During a 1923 training exercise, a naval destroyer called the USS Delphy led a flotilla of seven vessels down the California coast. The USS Delphy was captained by Lieutenant Commander Donald T. Hunter, an experienced navigator and instructor at the Naval Academy. Without warning, about half way on their training mission, a thick blanket of fog descended on the ships. In the midst of the fog (Hunter claimed it looked like “pea soup”), Hunter couldn’t get an accurate evaluation of his location. Contrary to Hunter’s calculations, the lead ship was headed right into Devil’s Jaw, a scant two miles off the California coast. But that didn’t stop Hunter from plowing ahead. That is not surprising, for Hunter was known for his self-confident decisiveness and what others called his “magic infallibility” to guide his ship.
Traveling at 20 knots, suddenly the USS Delphy smashed broadside into the rocky Point Arguello shoreline. The force of the massive collision of welded steel and jagged rock split the hull of the USS Delphy in half. One by one, the other destroyers followed the Delphy’s lead and smashed into the rocks. Twenty-two naval men died. The accident resulted in the loss of all seven ships. It still stands as one of the worst peacetime naval disasters in history.
Charles Lockwood & Hans Christian Adamson, Tragedy at Honda (Naval Institute Press, 1986), pp. 29-49.
Consider God’s Word concerning His view of arrogance…..
1 Samuel 2:3 – Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Isaiah 13:11 –I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. Proverbs 27:2 – Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. Luke 18:9-14 – He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”