“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom. “ (Proverbs 11:2 NIV)
Proverbs is always considered to be one of the books of the bible most filled with ageless wisdom. And, generally, this is true. But, is pride necessarily a bad thing? Is it wrong to be proud when we accomplish something? When we master something new? When we are promoted at work? When we graduate from college? Is it wrong to be proud even on days when our hair looks good or when we have finally kept that resolution to lose some weight? Is it wrong to watch the children playing without feeling a blush of pride?
It’s very hard, if not impossible, for any of us to go through an ordinary day without feeling at least a little pride. We feel pride in accomplishment, pride in the clothing we wear, pride in the work that we do, pride in the successes of our family members, and even pride when someone glances at us and smiles. Is this wrong?
The simple answer is no, this is not wrong. This is human instinct. We all do it, we are all programmed to do it from early childhood, we feel good about ourselves when we do it, and there is really no hard in doing it. Well, then, what is Proverbs trying to tell us about pride? It says that with pride comes disgrace. This is a confounding thought. Are we to believe that every time we feel a sense of pride, we will soon be disgraced? Will the tight jeans that felt so good this morning somehow lead to our downfall? Will our pride in a good stock trade, a home sale or a child’s report card bring us disgrace?
These are things in which we should take pride. These are accomplishments and goals, large and small, that we and members of our family have accomplished. It would be foolish to feel anything other than pride. Yet, that praise, while it is cherished in our hearts and memories, is passing. A few hours later, our minds are centered on completely different things.
The pride that is being spoken of in Proverbs is pride that is all consuming and, all too often, without merit. This is the pride that is not fleeting and momentary. It is the pride that is with someone all the time. It is the pride one feels places him or her above others and sets them apart. It is the pride that hurts. And, yes, this kind of pride will often be followed by disgrace.
How often have we seen mighty people tumble from their pedestals? Whether an actor or actress, a political figure or candidate, a professional athlete – they invariably do fall off their pedestals. And what are those pedestals built of? Pride. And what happens when they live on a pedestal of pride? They fall. It is this fall into disgrace with both man and God that Proverbs seems to be referring to.
To put it simply, it is fine to feel good about ourselves and our achievements. This is one of the cornerstones for good mental health, good self esteem and good self in-mage. We should be gratified when we complete a task, reach a goal or watch out children succeed. These are very positive feelings and, most surely, are not only a part of our human nature but also a gift from
Finally, our bible verse today speaks of wisdom coming with humility. Humility does not mean being humiliated or feeling embarrassed in any way. Rather, it refers to feeling humble and recognizing the faults and frailties of the human condition. If we see out own weaknesses, sense our own shortcomings, sense our own failures, we can gain in wisdom. If we never admit to them and accept them with humility, we will never be able to profit from them or to gain in wisdom from them. It is only by knowing and feeling our own humility that we can must surely learn, grow and prosper spiritually.
Lord God, have mercy on Your prideful children and help us to live without the bonds of pride. Let us always enjoy our successes and accomplishments, knowing that it is only through You that they are possible. May we gain in humility and, therefore, gain in wisdom as your sons and daughters, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
You might also like to read:
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- The Disciple by Ronald Way
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
- Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament
- UpWords Daily Devotions by Max Lucado
- Pocket Devotions by Mike Brooks.
A discussion of today’s bible verse is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations and, the more we share, the more we learn.
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