The story is told that one day Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, visited a prison and talked with each of the inmates. There were endless tales of innocence, or misunderstood motives, and of exploitation. Finally the king stopped at the cell of a convict who remained silent.
“Well,” remarked Frederick, “I suppose you are an innocent victim too?”
“No, sir, I’m not,” replied the man. “I’m guilty and deserve my punishment.”
Turning to the warden, the king said, “Here, release this rascal before he corrupts all these fine innocent people in here!”
Source | William T. Golosn Jr, On the Matter of Relationships
(Xulon Press, 2007) page 216
Paul W. Powell once observed, “Pride is so subtle that if we aren’t careful we’ll be proud of our humility.”
When this happens our goodness becomes badness. Our virtues become vices. We can easily become like the Sunday School teacher who, having told the story of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14), said, ‘Children, let’s bow our heads and thank God we are not like the Pharisee!’