When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Pride distorts decision-making ability. An arrogant, conceited, or haughty person will make costly mistakes, but a humble and modest man will clearly see right and wrong, truth and error, wisdom and folly. Your greatness depends on getting rid of all pride.
God inspired King Solomon to be your personal counselor. The wisest king that ever lived wrote down important advice for your success and prosperity. Pride will cause you to make foolish choices that will shame you; humility will lead you to make wise choices.
The worst thing you can have is pride. It will cost you more than any other character fault. Conceit will deceive you into folly, which will quickly and surely shame you. But humility leads to wisdom, which protects men from foolish mistakes and then disgrace.
Do you grasp the importance of this lesson? You will never hear or read a more important warning for your life. Pride will destroy you, but it will destroy you disgracefully and shamefully before all men. Humility will lift you up before both God and good men.
A fool is a horrible thing, as Solomon often taught. But there is a person worse than a fool – a proud fool! He wrote, “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pr 26:12). There is little hope for a fool – he is a loser; but there is no hope for a proud fool. His arrogance will refuse any instruction or correction.
Pride blinds men. They will not accept wisdom to avoid trouble and shame. They resent being taught or corrected by others. They are overconfident. They arrogantly rush on in their high opinion of their thoughts and ideas. Pride brings folly, which brings shame.
Hate pride and arrogance! Listen to your counselor. He wrote, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Pr 8:13). Fearing God, the key to God’s blessing, requires you to hate pride and arrogance.
Pride is a heinous evil. It began with the devil. It caused Satan’s downfall. Lucifer was not content as God’s anointed cherub; he wanted to be like the most High God (Ezek 28:14; Is 14:14). God threw him out of heaven to his everlasting shame (Jn 12:31; Rev 12:9,12). The smoke of his torment will be heaven’s incense (Matt 25:41; Rev 14:11).
Do you hate pride and arrogance? Pride is the devil’s sin. Pride ruined the glorious life of the universe’s highest creature. Pride caused his everlasting shame and torment. Pride is the worst thing you can have in your life. It will cost you more than any other sin.
Due to pride, Pharaoh, the greatest king of that time, destroyed himself, his family, his nation, and his army (Ex 5:2). Men have laughed at his destruction and shame for the last 3500 years (Ex 15:1-21; I Sam 4:8; 6:6; Neh 9:10; Ps 136:9,15; Rom 9:17). Even children rejoice and laugh at the frogs in Pharaoh’s bed and bread for his pride (Ex 8:3).
Due to pride, the Philistines fought against Israel, in spite of remembering what God had done to Egypt 500 years earlier (I Sam 4:7-9). After capturing the Ark of God, they put it before their idol Dagon, which fell down and worshipped it (I Sam 5:1-5). God then gave the whole nation an epidemic of hemorrhoids, and the only way they could find relief was to return the Ark with five golden hemorrhoids as a peace offering (I Sam 6:1-5)!
Consider their shame! The whole nation scratched their secret parts (I Sam 5:9), and there was no Preparation H. Their only relief was to mold five golden hemorrhoids. God laughed at their shame! He inspired Psalm 78:66 for this event, which rejoices, “And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.” Indeed! They were put to perpetual shame for pride. What a peace offering! Who modeled for them!
Due to pride, Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest and most glorious king of all time, spent seven years crawling around a field on his hands and knees. He ate grass like an ox; his hairs grew out like eagle feathers; his nails grew out like bird claws (Dan 4:33). And he wrote the whole story down and sent it to his entire empire in their languages (Dan 4:1-3). What trouble! What shame! And it was all because of pride (Dan 4:30-31).
Due to pride, Herod Agrippa I, the King of Judea from 37-44 AD, who killed the apostle James and tried to kill the apostle Peter, was struck by the angel of God and eaten of worms, for proudly receiving excessive praise from the citizens of Tyre and Sidon (Acts 12:1-4,20-23). Josephus confirms his death in his history (Antiquities; Book 19; 8:2).
Do not forget the Tower of Babel, Miriam, Korah, Balaam, Uzziah, Haman, Absalom, and Belshazzar. These are other examples of shameful consequences for pride. But now, celebrating the shame of others, which is truly an act of holy worship to God, is over. It is your turn. Where is pride in your life? Look closely. Look carefully. Do you ever feel pride puffing you up? Does it cause you to bristle or burn with envy at success of others?
What is pride? It is a high or conceited opinion of your own qualities, accomplishments, or assets, which leads to feelings and an attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; it is inordinate self-esteem. What is conceit? It is an overweening opinion of yourself, overestimation of your own qualities, and personal vanity or pride.
Pride thinks you are important. Pride enjoys conversations and events about you. Pride believes your thoughts and opinions are right. Pride resents correction and instruction. Pride envies the advantages, abilities, or honors of others. Pride ignores asking others for advice. Pride looks down on others. Read this description again, dear reader.
God is jealous. His name is Jealous (Ex 34:14). He is able, and He will, abase those who walk in pride (Dan 4:37; Job 40:11-12). He sees and knows the very thoughts and intents of your heart (Heb 4:12). You must examine yourself closely, find the seeds of pride in your life, and root them out quickly and completely. He will help you, if you will ask.
In God’s sight, you are nothing, and less than nothing (Ps 39:5; 62:9; 113:6; Is 40:17). You are a worm before Him (Job 25:6). You are a mere creature whose breath is in your nostrils (Is 2:22). Therefore, He hates the proud, and He will crush them like a moth and melt them like wax (Pr 6:16-17; Ps 39:11; 68:2). Wisdom learns to love this truth.
Pride is a temptation for every man, and one of Satan’s favorite devices (I Jn 2:16). He tempted Eve to be like God, and he tempted Jesus Christ with the kingdoms of the world. Your depraved heart is filled with it by nature. You are already a proud fool, if you think you do not have a problem or temptation with it. Only those who know they are proud are learning humility. To think you have beaten pride is to prove your arrogant conceit!
Today pride is exalted and promoted by calling it self-esteem or self-confidence, and then it is taught as the cure for many of man’s problems. Books are sold about looking out for number one, and songs are sung about self-love as the greatest love of all. Social media is considered nearly necessary for life, though it is little more than narcissistic conceit.
You must start at home. You must root pride out of your own soul, and then you must root it out of your family. Parents must make it the highest priority to teach humility and eliminate visible pride from their children. Pastors must root it out of their churches.
Ministers cannot have pride or self-will (I Tim 3:6; Tit 1:7), for it will cause them to run amok in the work of God. They cannot be self-promoters. Teachers and rulers must first be humble enough to examine themselves critically and to learn from others, before they should be put in a position to teach and examine others (I Tim 4:16; II Tim 2:15).
Pride causes folly, which brings shame. It blinds men, because they presume they are always right (Pr 12:15; 14:16; 26:12; 28:26). So they reject and resent counsel and correction that could help them (Pr 21:24; 22:3). They disrespect those in authority. They make hasty decisions, for they cannot possibly be wrong (Pr 14:29; 19:2; 28:22; 29:20).
Pride causes strife, for proud men will fight to defend their ideas or position (Pr 13:10; 21:24; 28:25). They cannot stoop to serve others, unless it serves them best. And they will not admit mistakes to God or men. Such a course will lead a man to foolish decisions and stubborn rebellion and their horrible consequences – destruction and shame.
Lowliness is wisdom. The humble man does not trust his knowledge or motives, trembles before God’s word, appreciates and esteems the advice of others, takes correction cheerfully, quickly confesses mistakes, and alters his life accordingly. He will be blessed.
Humility is the sure road to wisdom, which saves a man from trouble and shame, but only the lowly ever find it. The proud are blinded from true wisdom by their conceit, and the jealous God of heaven will keep them blinded, so He can bless His humble and modest children with wisdom (Matt 11:25-27). Can you see the importance of getting down?
God will never bless a man with a proud spirit (Pr 16:5). He draws near to the man with a humble spirit (Is 57:15; 66:2; I Pet 5:5-6). If you choose pride, God will resist you and humble you painfully (Pr 16:18; 18:12). If you choose humility cheerfully, God will raise you up gloriously (Luke 14:11). It is far better to be a poor humble man than to be a rich proud man, for God will soon make a great reversal of fortune (Pr 16:19). Look for it!
Jesus Christ showed the greatest humility and wisdom, when He came from heaven’s glory to live in poverty and die in obscurity and pain (Phil 2:5-8). He despised the shame of His humility (Heb 12:2). But God has now highly exalted Him far above all principalities and powers, yea, even far above the devil and all his angels (Phil 2:9-11; Eph 1:20-23). There is no more humility in the Blessed and Only Potentate, for He is worthy of all your praise and adoration. Let Him be your glory and worship, not yourself.