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Seeking Wisdom, Day 16 -Where Pride Goes

February 24, 2016

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. (Proverbs 16: 18) We have been warned against pride throughout the Bible, for pride directs us to the desires of this world. Wisdom hates pride and arrogance. (Proverbs 8: 13) Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11: 2) The psalmist, David, asked God to let his enemies be captured by their pride and their lies. (Psalm 59: 12) God answered David’s prayers when his beloved son and enemy, Absalom, was killed, his long hair caught in a tree – vanity, the daughter of pride, led to Absalom’s death.

Jesus told the people, “The greatest among you must be a servant; but those who exalted themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23: 12) The apostle John wrote (John 2: 16). “For the world offers only a craving for everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but from this world.” T.S. Elliot echoed the warning, “Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to become important.” Pride makes us seem important, at least to ourselves.

Jane Austin, in her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, shows us what occurs when foolish pride is wrapped like a cloak around the Bennett family and the Darcys. Early in the story Mrs. Bennett, the mother whose most pressing task is to get her five daughters married, says that Mr. Darcy is “a most disagreeable man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him.” Ah, the misunderstandings and mix-ups which follow. Before the story ends, all the Bennett family have changed their opinions and been humbled, and Mr Darcy has allowed his better nature to be seen. Pride is sinful because it removes us from our fellow man. We see ourselves as the center of the universe, not as one of the children of a loving God.

At my ripe age, I take some pride in the successes and accomplishments of my children, daughter and son in law, and my grandchildren. I can only hope it is not harmful, when I know that my pride is mixed with gratitude to God for having allowed me to participate in their lives, and for continuing to bless them and me. Perhaps when we go with God, faithful to his commands, pride is contained. Yes, pride goes before a fall, and we all fall from God’s grace when we wear it.

 

 

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