Pride says, “My way is better”; wisdom says, “God’s way is always best.”
While humility has been misconstrued as weakness, pride is often seen as self-esteem or even superiority. We boast in our accomplishments as if we have forgotten that our very next breath is not determined by how healthy we are or by genetics–it is determined by the God who created us.
While I am quite aware that being a good person does not guarantee the number of our days, I am also reminded that just because a person’s heart is beating for many years does not necessarily indicate the quality of a life.
I know. The verse in the graphic is from Psalms, but what a great reminder for us as we look at Proverbs 16.
Take time to read it. Reflect on what seems to be an admonition on Lordship. We think of wisdom as something we can acquire by gaining more knowledge, but the emphasis here on pride suggests otherwise. A desire to gain wisdom is a noble pursuit, but if we even begin to think that it comes from our own effort or ability, then we are grossly mistaken.
“Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the Lord…” Proverbs 16:5a
“Detestable”? If that seems harsh, read on:
“…be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5b
Pride is a funny thing. We can be proud of our kids or proud of our accomplishments, but the truth is, anything that we boast in can be quickly taken away. All that is good in my life is clearly a gift from God. He is the giver of all good things. Humility says, “All that I am and all that I can call good in my life comes from knowing the Lord and trusting in His perfect plan.” On the flip side of that, it is easy to see that the difficult things that have come are often a direct result of me trying to do things “my way”.
Pride and humility are two distinctly different paths. We are given clear warning that whatever path we choose will have consequences; one leading to destruction and death, the other leading to life and happiness.
“The highway of the upright avoids evil; the one who guards his way protects his life.” Proverbs 16:17
Since the beginning of time, God has given us the choice to go our own way or follow His way. The Book of Proverbs is filled with examples of two choices: follow God or fly solo. We can pep talk ourselves in to saying “You can do this”, or “You’ve got this!”, when in reality every step is determined by a loving God– and He wants to go before us and lead the way.
We all choose. Every day gives us a new opportunity to walk in wisdom. What do you see for your future if you keep on the path you are currently on?
I am reminded of the song, In The Garden. This beloved old hymn is a beautiful picture of wisdom’s path.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
“The one who understands a matter finds success, and the one who trusts in the Lord will be happy.” Proverbs 16:20