“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).
The truth always corrects erroneous ideas. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word … you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31, 32). Unfortunately, the truth is unpopular. “Truth was unpopular in Christ’s day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation.” The Desire of Ages, 242.
The scribes and Pharisees prided themselves upon the idea that they were God’s chosen people, but when He came to them, they did not receive Him. “He did not flatter the Pharisees or exalt them in any way. He received the publicans and sinners whom the Jews heartily despised, and because His lessons of humility, compassion, and love rebuked their selfishness and pride, they would have none of Him, but turned from Him in scorn. They made great ostentation, wore long robes, and stood praying on the corners of the streets, but none of these pretensions to piety awed the great Teacher or drew from Him one word of approval. … The teaching of Christ was against all vanity and pride, for these were abhorrent to the Most High. It is the humble and the contrite whose prayers are heard in heaven. The Lord declares that He knoweth ‘the proud afar off’ (Psalm 138:6). He says, ‘To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word’ (Isaiah 66:2).” The Signs of the Times, May 24, 1899.
“Many look upon the great work to be accomplished for God’s people, and their prayers go up to God for help in the great harvest. But like the Jewish nation, if help does not come in just the manner they have arranged, they will not receive it, but turn from that help as the Jewish nation turned from Christ, because disappointed in the manner of His appearing. Too much poverty and humility marked His advent, and in their pride they refused Him who came to give them life. … Had the church all humbled themselves before God, and corrected their past errors so fully as to meet the mind of God, they would not be so deficient in estimating moral excellence of character.” Testimony for the Church at Battle Creek (1868), 53.
“Be sure that Christ is in you, that your heart is broken and submissive and humble. God will accept only the humble and contrite. Heaven is worth a lifelong, persevering effort; yes, it is worth everything. God will help you in your efforts if you strive only in Him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 259.