Series: The Word
Proverbs 11:2 ESV
Proverbs 2:6 ESV
James 1:5 ESV
No more pain (Revelation 21:4)
There is a stark warning about pride and humility that is so clear that it slaps me in the face when I read it.
Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
The first time I read it I thought, “whhhhat?”
The connection King Solomon made about the end result of pride was confusing at first.
How did Solomon know that pride will bring disgrace every time? I say that because I’ve known some very proud people and they seemingly got away with it.
In other words they were proud and they were proud of it.
They had no intention of letting go of their pride. As a matter of fact, I’ve known proud people who didn’t even know they were proud.
I’ve even asked God why some people can be proud and even haughty (and have no intention of changing it.)
What’s so strange about the concept of pride (that according to Solomon leads to disgrace) is that all of the proud people I’ve known do not like being put to shame.
They do not want others to see their faults.
They want other people to think highly of them.
They really really hate being laughed at.
So, wouldn’t you think they would do anything (and I mean anything) to avoid being laughed at because of their pride?
You’d think so, but here’s the “thing”, I don’t think proud people know other people can see their pride. And…the people I’ve known who are proud are often carrying around a false bravado.
It’s just a matter of getting attention.
The second half of Solomon’s statement says the humble are wise.
Once again, I’ve known humble people who are humble because they look to God. The wisdom is not THEIR wisdom. It’s wisdom from God.
King Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Truly wise people know they are not God.
They know God is the author of wisdom.
They know that it is God who leads us to a place of knowledge and understanding.
In other words, we cannot ‘get there’ without God.
When I was a teenager and I couldn’t figure something out, I’d generally go to my dad and ask him for the answer. My dad was wise. He pointed me to God. He challenged me to ask God and to listen for the answer.
That frustrated me because I wanted my dad to give me the answer.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s a very good thing my dad challenged me to take it to God. At the time we didn’t know that my dad only had 15 more years left on this earth. Losing him when I was in my early thirties was extremely difficult, but looking back I now know those final 15 years I had with my dad were a training ground for me. He continued to refer my questions to God and he told me to listen for God’s answers.
In the New Testament, James told the members of the early church of Christ the same thing.
In James 1:5 he wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
That promise from the book of James carried me through many dark nights when I could no longer ask my dad for answers to my endless questions.
When my dad was diagnosed with cancer I prayed day and night that God would heal him of the cancer so he would not suffer.
God answered my prayer.
At the time I didn’t see that because my definition of healing was different from God’s definition.
I meant I wanted God to heal my dad so he could stay on earth with me.
What God gave my dad was ultimate healing in a place where there would be no more pain. My dad went to a place where there would be no more pain (Revelation 21:4). I continued to pray that he would be healed on earth.
The night before he died I had a dream and my dad was inside a tunnel. He was walking fast and his head was held high. At the end of the tunnel there was a bright light. He was walking toward the light and he couldn’t see anything else.
In the dream I was on the outside of the tunnel and I was clawing as hard as I could to get into the tunnel. I was screaming at my dad but he didn’t hear me.
He didn’t stop.
When I woke up I was physically tired from the dream.
The next morning my dad walked into the light into the arms of Jesus.
He was completely healed.
It took time for me to grieve but eventually I humbled myself to God and accepted God’s wisdom.
Spiritual Practice: God’s Wisdom
Let go of pride and be humble before God. Accept God’s wisdom.
In God, Deborah