Summary: Pride and humility are the outcomes of attitudes and opinion we harbor and the choices we make. The harmful results of pride are repeatedly contrasted with humility & with its benefits. So the sayings in Proverbs hammer hard against pride & drives home th
PRIDE VERSES HUMILITY
Proverbs is direct and forceful in rejecting pride and honoring humility. Pride is pagan behavior. It has no place in the lives of God's people. Pride is a declaration of independence from God if not an assertion of war against Him. Pride therefore draws God's scorn, sparks His ire, and guarantees His judgment.
Moreover, the haughty are damaging to their communities. It is impossible to love our neighbor as ourselves when we have an exaggerated sense of our own importance. The proud exhaust their energy and love for their own needs with only table scraps for others.
Pride and humility are the outcomes of attitudes and opinion we harbor and the choices we make (CIM). The harmful results of pride are repeatedly contrasted with humility and with its benefits. So the sayings in Proverbs hammer hard against pride and drives home the importance of humility.
An outline of their teachings could be:
I. A Considered Choice
II. Pride's Punishment
III. Pride's Precipice
IV. Humility's Honor
Proverbs 11:2 teaches that the choice between pride and humility is also a choice between wisdom and dishonor. "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom" (NASB). "When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom."
This assertion help us see our choice between pride and humility more clearly. Humility leads to wisdom but pride leads to disgrace. As the adage goes; "What goes up must come down; what bows down will be lifted up."
It is "shame" or "wisdom." "Pride" [Hebrew zdôn; 13:10; 21:24; Deut. 18:22; Jer. 49:16; Obad. 3—the last 2 describe Edom's arrogance highlighting how pagan human pride is] does not walk alone. Its inevitable companion, lurking in its shadow, waiting to announce itself, is "shame" (3:39; 6:33; 13:18). Shame is the lightweight, worthless opposite of honor or glory. "Humble" people [Hebrew enûm; used only here in the O T] recall the demand of Yahweh to "walk humbly with your God" in Micah 6:8 and find a different kind of fellow-traveler, wisdom. Their humility teaches them the limits of human strength and knowledge so they are willing to learn all they can from trustworthy teachers and companions. They cast themselves on the mercy and support of God whom they fear. For, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7).
The choice is really two choices. Choose between pride or humility, and you have chosen the companion who will either drag you into shame or lead you into wisdom.
It may be hard to admit that we are prideful but its not difficult to recognize if one is truly heeding wisdom or not. Proverbs 13:10 teaches that humility takes advise but pride produces quarrels. "Through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel" (NASB).
Pride or insolence (zôn, from zî, "to boil"; 11:2) means an unyielding arrogance. Here strife is traced to it source. An inflated, know-it-all or "know much more than you" view of oneself leads to quarreling. In contrast to one who takes no counsel a wise humble person is willing to learn and take advice (12:15).