When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility brings wisdom. These words are locked into my brain without a chance of escape.
They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. Okay, maybe not my life, but definitely my relationships, my work environment, etc. However, before absorbing the truth of this powerful Proverb, pride destroyed some relationships, both personal and professional.
I haven’t always been the greatest fan of being confronted and called out on my junk. During my year-long stay at the residential discipleship program I was a part of, that was a daily part of the deal. “You said this to me in this way. When you did that it hurt me. When you look at me that way, I feel…. When you pretend everything is okay, you’re only hurting yourself.” If I heard those words one more time….
There were days I wanted to bury my head in the sand and shout at the top of my lungs, “Leave me alone! I. DO. NOT. NEED. YOUR. HELP.” Then.. Then this verse.
It shook my world. It made me take a look into the mirror and I didn’t like who I saw. It literally brought me to my knees in repentance before God and others. Grasping the reality of Proverbs 11:2 was humbling, to say the least.
I still refer to this verse often, almost every time I know someone is going to sit down and talk to me about something important, or call me out on my junk. You know why? Because I hate pride and my heart’s desire is to walk humbly, with a teachable spirit.
C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” Think that’s too harsh? Lewis adds, “It was through Pride that the devil became the devil.” Ouch.
Three signs you may be operating in pride.
Pride isn’t attractive. Here are a few signs pride may be leading your life:
- Trying to lead others without being led. If you desire to help others, yet you’re not receiving wise counsel or help yourself, check your motives on why.I’m watching a friend walk through this now and it hurts my heart. She truly has a desire to help others, and many seek her guidance, but she has no leadership or accountability in her own life.Her unwillingness to be led by others spreads an unnatracctive fragrance of pride and arrogance. She sees vulnerability in herself as a weakness and protects her heart from allowing others to come in.
- Refusing to receive correction. We can’t be right all the time. I mean, I usually am, but there are a few times… When we’re willing to admit we’ve made a mistake and allow others closest to us to point out those mistakes with grace and correction, humility brings wisdom.A friend of mine spoke some truth to me the other day. Honestly, it was a little hard to swallow and I felt myself wanting to get defensive, but up shot Proverbs 11:2 and as she spoke truth to me, I repeated “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom,” over and over again in my head as she spoke. It calmed my heart and opened my eyes and ears to truly hear what she was telling me. I believer I’m wiser with that situation because of it.
- Others don’t want to be around you. Pride stinks. Like really stinks. I’m not sure what to compare the smell to, but think of trash that’s been setting out in the scorching sun for three days, then you bring it back in and set it in the middle of your kitchen floor and do nothing with it. Eventually your whole house is full of an unforgettable stinch you think you may never get rid of. Now mutliply that by 10. That’s how bad pride smells.If you find others distancing themselves from you, and you’re not really sure why, ask yourself if pride comes into play anywhere. Are you listening when they tell you something, or are you the one who has to talk all the time? Are you always giving advice instead of receiving it? Pride brings loneliness.
These three are enough to make me check my motives again and make sure I’m on the path of humility and wisdom, versus pride and disgrace. What about you?
I encourage you, friend, if any of these signs are prevalent in your life, to confess your struggle. To ask God to show you how to rid yourself of this horrible vice. To humble yourself and ask for help. Don’t help anyone else without admitting you first need help. Be teachable. And get that stinkin’ trash out of the middle of your kitchen floor.
Question: In what areas of your life have you noticed pride? What steps can you take today to get rid of it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.