I’ve been reading through The Ladder of Divine Ascent by Saint John Climacus, and this paragraph, from the chapter “Step 4: On Obedience,” strikes me as being profoundly true—perhaps even more so today than it was when the book was written 1,400 years ago:
He whose will and desire in conversation is to establish his own opinion, even though what he says is true, should recognize that he is sick with the devil’s disease. And if he behaves like this only in conversation with his equals, then perhaps the rebuke of his superiors may heal him. But if he acts in this way even with those who are greater and wiser than he, then his malady is humanly incurable.
There’s an awful lot of wisdom in these pages. If you’re looking to score a copy, this particular edition is beautifully bound and printed, and is a steal at $35.