One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. -- Proverbs 29:23 (ESV)
We tell our children and other people in our life, "I'm so proud of you!" We take pride in our work. We conduct ourselves and our lives with pride.
Is this a good thing? Yes! Absolutely! We should take pride in what we do, who we are, and those who do great things in our lives.
But this is not what the Bible is talking about when it discusses pride.
The pride the Bible warns about being destructive to our lives is the pride that thinks more highly of ourselves than we ought. Pride is when we refuse to listen, learn, or consider the realities of our limitations. The Bible calls pride a sin. It is a dangerous sin. Pride can be the source of why many refuse to bow the knee to Jesus in faith. They cannot submit to anyone else, or relinquish control of their lives. They are too full of themselves to recognize their need for a Savior.
The Scripture passage for today is a potent reminder of this truth. Pride will bring you low. The writer of the proverb means to say that pride will destroy and wreck your life. It will be your stumbling block that causes you to fall.
However, the passage then says that the lowly in spirit will obtain honor. In other words:
If we willingly humble ourselves,
God honors that humility.
But if we refuse to humble ourselves,
and bring ourselves low,
then our pride will lead to
our being brought low.
The outcome is the same: we're brought low. One route is we humble ourselves and are brought low. The second route is we are humiliated and brought low.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some areas of your life or heart that you recognize pride lurking?
- How can we combat pride in our lives? What are some practical ways you can humble yourself and purposefully fight against pride?
- Why is humility so much more appealing in people than pride? Who are some people who model humility well in your life?
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