Proverbs 16:18

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

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A force stronger than gravity brings men down – pride! Solomon gave an axiom here that all men should memorize and consider every day. Getting arrogant or puffed up about anything is a sure way to end up flat on your face. Haughty or proud men are going down just as surely as nuts fall from a tree. Humble yourself today, reader, and hate your pride.

Here is key wisdom from a wise and successful king. He knew better than any consultant or philosopher what works best for prosperity and success in life. He repeated this warning often, indicating its importance, but you will not be taught this rule in business school or any school for that matter. Natural man loves pride, especially his own!

Pride is poison to the heart, soul, and mind. It hardens the heart from loving and forgiving others, so it corrodes relationships. It cauterizes the soul against correction and warnings, so it leads to terrible backslidings and falls. It blinds the mind to dangers and risks, so a man rushes into foolish choices and destruction without ordinary caution.

Pride cost the devil his position in heaven (I Tim 3:6), and Solomon observed it bringing many men down. He often warned against pride (Pr 11:2; 17:19; 18:12; 29:23). But his son Rehoboam missed the lesson. He arrogantly provoked Israel and lost ten of twelve tribes at his coronation (II Chron 10:1-19). His overconfidence cost him the nation.

King Uzziah presumed to offer incense like a priest, but had to retire with facial leprosy. Haman proudly tried to destroy the Jews, to his own shame and hanging. Peter declared he would never deny the Lord, until the cock crowed a few hours later. Herod haughtily enjoyed the praise of men, for the few hours the worms let him suffer before killing him.

It is easy to spot a proud man. He likes to talk, especially about himself or his opinions. He does not serve others voluntarily, for it is beneath him, and he is too preoccupied with his own things. He moves in high circles, and he lives above his means. He rejects advice or warnings. He gets angry easily, criticizes others, and holds bitterness for past offences.

A proud man presumes on people, is disrespectful of authority, and flouts the breaking of laws. He always has an excuse for his bad actions, instead of a humble apology. He makes commitments he cannot or will not keep. He speaks hastily. The problems in his life are always someone else’s fault. He will not seek help. He rules mainly by tyranny.

What are cures for pride? Confess your sins completely to God, and forsake them. Apologize to all you have wronged and make full restitution. Humble yourself and obey all wise advice you have been given. Serve the lowest person you can find. Talk less. Retrain your heart and mind to only think kind thoughts about others. Reject all revenge.

Humility is not thinking or saying you are humble. Humility is obeying God and serving others. Humility is not how you look or walk; it is exalting God and others instead of yourself. Pride provokes Him to judgment; humility brings blessing. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (I Pet 5:6).