Perils of Pride #4: Proverbs about Pride

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the subject of pride. As we read through the book of Proverbs, we come upon two trains of thought regarding pride. First, the Proverbs ask “What are the problems that come with pride?” And second, the Proverbs ask “What are the blessings that come with humility?”

Let’s begin this study by asking ourselves some questions:

Does it bother you when someone corrects you?
Do you accept praise for things which you have no control?
Do you cover over or excuse your mistakes?
If someone irritates you, do you ever say “I can get along without him”?
Do you have difficulty seeking advice or counsel?
Are you not grateful for God’s blessings?
Do you grumble about what God hasn’t given you?
Do you live your life in a sense of competition with other people?

Did you notice the sin of pride in your life as you answered these questions? Pride, just like any other sin, has consequences that come with it. Let’s look at some of the verses in the book of Proverbs that deal with the consequences that a proud person will suffer.

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (NIV)

The first problem that comes with pride is DISGRACE. One of things which a proud person really desires is to be honored by other people. But this verse tells us that the opposite will generally happen, the proud person will be disgraced instead of honored. It has been said that pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick except for the one who has it.

Proverbs 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (NIV)

The second problem that comes with pride is CONFLICT. What do you find at the source of every conflict? Pride. All the way from the squabble on the schoolyard to wars between nations. All conflicts have a root of pride. And what about in our homes? What is the source of divorce? Let’s take an example couple – we’ll call them Jim and Beth. They get married, and move into their first apartment to set up housekeeping, and with them, they bring their pride. Instead of establishing a home, they each establish their own kingdom under the roof of that one bedroom apartment. Jim becomes King James and Beth becomes Queen Elizabeth. And what did Jesus say about what happens to a divided kingdom? Luke 11:17 “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.” (NIV)

Proverbs 15:25 “The LORD tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.” (NIV)

The third problem that comes with pride is the Lord’s WRATH. Notice that the Lord is an active participant – this verse does not say “the proud man’s house will be torn down”; it says “The LORD tears down the proud man’s house”. What are some of the ways the Lord might tear down the proud man’s house? I have seen houses torn apart by alcohol, drugs, adultery, and other destructive things that people bring upon themselves. But I have also seen houses torn apart by things completely outside of the control of the husband and wife, such as a loss of job or a medical problem.

Proverbs 16:5 “The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” (NIV)

The fourth problem that comes with pride is Lord’s HATRED. Some people say that God loves the sinner and hates the sin. That is not true. God hates the sinner because of the sin in their heart. You cannot separate a person from their nature. Yet, you might say, what about John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV) God’s hatred of sin made a way for sinners to have the price paid for God’s hatred of their sin.

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (NIV)

The fifth problem that comes with pride is FAILURE. There is no way that the works of a proud person can match up to his boasting. In 1 Corinthians 10:12, Paul writes “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (NIV) This is a solemn warning for those of us who think we have our act together. And think along these lines with me. What causes most personal bankruptcies in America today? Pride. We think we have to keep up with the Jones’s. Our problem is we can’t afford what our neighbors buy. We overextend ourselves, and then along comes a problem, loss of a job, an illness, and people are wiped out financially because they can’t pay what they owe. What causes most divorces in the America today? Pride. We refuse to sacrifice ourselves for our mates. We turn to others outside of our marriage to fulfill our desires. This is also a primary reason why there are so many people headed to hell today. They won’t come to Jesus as Lord and Savior because of their pride. They think they can handle their own salvation.

Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (NIV)

The sixth problem with pride is HUMILIATION. It is far better to choose to be humble that it is to be made humble. Jesus told a parable that relates to this Proverb that I want you to see. Turn over in your Bibles with me to Luke 14:7-11.

7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.
9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.
10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.
11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(NIV)

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. The book of Proverbs also has a lot to say about the blessings that come with humility.

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (NIV)

The first blessing that comes with humility is WISDOM. Why would it be hard for a proud person to be wise? Remember, first, where does wisdom come from? God. And what does God think of the proud person? He hates them. So, why would God give a good gift to the one he hates? God wants you to become humble because He wants you to become just like the person whom He loves most dearly – His Son Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:25 “The LORD tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.” (NIV)

The second blessing that comes with humility is PROTECTION. There is a secular proverb which says “God helps those who help themselves.” This is not in the Bible, in fact, it is contrary to what the Bible says. God helps those who cannot help themselves.

Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” (NIV)

The third blessing that comes with humility is HONOR. Philippians 2:5-8 deals with the humility of Jesus.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature a God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature b of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
(NIV)

But if you keep reading in Philippians 2:9-11 you will find that Jesus’ humility leads to his honor.

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(NIV)

By Berean Husband

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