Shmos (9:20-21) “Whoever feared the Almighty among the servants of Pharoah, brought his servants and cattle into their homes. And whoever didn't care, left his servants and cattle out in the field. "
Moshe had just warned Pharaoh of the 7th plague, the plague of hail, telling him to gather in his sheep and cattle as any animals left in the fields would be killed by the plague. The verse above tells us that only those Egyptians who feared G-d brought their animals indoors.
The obvious question is why didn't all of the Egyptians bring their animals indoors? After all, hadn't they already been punished with six plagues? Why would they make such an illogical decision and dismiss the likelihood of this ferocious hail falling upon them, a hail that Moshe said would be so heavy, the likes of which had never in history fallen upon Eygpt? Why not bring the animals and servants indoors just as a precaution?
Rav Chanoch Leibowitz, of blessed memory, writes that since the Egyptians still refused to allow the Jews to leave Egypt, it would be inconsistent and hypocritical for them to show fear of the hail and make efforts to avoid it. If they wouldn't acknowledge a higher power and let the Jews leave, how could they acknowledge a higher power and show fear of the plague?
Their refusal to free the Jews was presumably out of fear that this loss of massive slave labor would adversely affect their economy. Yet this same concern for financial loss should have compelled them to bring their servants and animals indoors during the hail. But it seems that their need for consistency prevented them from taking this action.
Although being truthful to ones self is certainly a positive attribute, it can sometimes be distorted and be harmful as with the Egyptians. Rabbi Leibowitz said that this drive for consistency in our actions can often hurt us. It can also cripple our spiritual growth. At times we might want to observe a new mitzvah or intensify a Jewish practice and a subconscious voice from within calls to us, "Who do you think you are? There is so much that you don't keep, why be hypocritical and take on new mitzvos? What, you're a tzaddik all of a sudden?" And so we remain where we are.
Feelings of pride and honor can sometimes feed this drive for consistency. If we sincerely have a desire to grow and are humble enough to acknowledge where we are, we can be free to utilize every opportunity for growth.