Listen as you read along
(running time 2 minutes 21 seconds)
We’ve looked at this chapter before, but I wanted to revisit the beginning of this chapter. The focus is the difference between the righteous and the wicked.
If we look at the first few verses we see righteousness laid out. Righteousness starts with humility (vs. 2). It’s full of integrity. (vs. 3) It’s blameless and keeps us on the straight path. (vs. 5)
Righteousness also delivers us from desires (vs. 6) and rescues us from troubles (vs. 8). It gives us knowledge (vs. 8) and allows us to prosper so well an entire city will rejoice because of our blessings. (vs. 10)
It’s here I want to pause and talk about our key verse. It talks about pride coming before disgrace. You may remember Proverbs 16:18, “Pride comes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride is a misplaced virtue. You can have pride in your abilities that God gave you. You can have pride in your opportunities that God provided for you. You can even have pride in your family that God has place you in. Pride within the context of God is a good thing. We should be proud to be called children of God.
Pride can be distorted into ego-centric behavior and what the Bible calls haughtiness. The Amplified Bible gives us a good description of the word ‘pride’ used in this verse. It reads, “boiling up with an arrogant attitude of self-importance.” That is the kind of pride that leads to destruction.
I think a lot of people feel bad that they have pride. Benjamin Franklin was approached by a Quaker friend who pointed out that his list of virtues included humility, but it seemed as if he was boasting about it.
Life has to have balance. To be humble, we must see the value in others above ourselves. To have pride in ourselves, we must see value in ourselves. All of this must be in the framework of being part of what God is doing here on this earth.
As a business owner, it is easy to become prideful and arrogant when we start to see success. Yet, it is at this point that God should begin to receive all the more glory for allowing you to have such great opportunities and giving you the skills, drive and abilities to accomplish such great things for Him.
Pride in self is a good thing, when it is in the context of God. We must give God the glory for our lives and the accomplishments we have. Then, we can see the hand of God weaving a great tapestry. And in those threads, all of them point to how great and sovereign God is in our lives.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2