Summary: Pride is very subtle and crafty and loves to work or weave its way through our lives, our hearts and our minds. It wants to convince us that all the blessings come from our work, our talent our pride tells us that God did not help or intervene – you did
Series: Practical Proverbs
Thesis: The primary message of Proverbs is “Get wisdom or act and look like a fool!”
Sermon 1 & 2: Wise vs. foolish
We learned that wisdom is God given not manmade but foolishness is manmade not God given. We learned that wisdom is given by God to us so that we use knowledge rightly and correctly and if we don’t have God then we don’t have wisdom and therefore we are unable to use knowledge correctly or rightly.
Sermon 3: Wickedness vs. godliness
We need to be able to recognize and avoid wickedness in our lives and instead embrace godliness.
Sermon 4: Laziness vs. diligence
The writers of this ancient wisdom literature inspired by God try to convey the message to us of “Don’t be lazy - be diligent!” In other words “Make a commitment to work hard at being all God wants you to be!”
How are you doing reading through the book of Proverbs? How are you doing applying the spiritual truths of godly wisdom to your life? Are you using the wisdom that comes from God to use knowledge rightly? Or are you trusting in your own judgment of right and wrong and looking like a fool to the Kingdom of Heaven? Remember God wants us to be wise and the Devil wants us act and look like fools!
The Hebrew word for "proverb" (mashal) means a "comparison." Our next comparison found in our book of wisdom is one which defines the attitude of a person’s heart toward God.
Sermon 4: Proud vs. Humble
Proverbs 3:33-34: The LORD’S curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.
Proverbs 8:13: To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Who hates pride “Wisdom” personified which is Jesus!)
Proverbs 9:12: If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”
Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 13:10: Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Proverbs 16:18-19: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.
Proverbs 18:12: Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 27:1-2: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
Proverbs 29:23: A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.
Pride brings cursing, brings destruction, brings ruin to a person, brings dishonor, is quarrelsome, is evil, is associated with wickedness, has no fear of the Lord and ultimately brings disgrace to the person.
Illustration from sermon central by Richard Burkey:
Someone in our day who has a prideful self-centeredness we say has the disease of Narcissism. The name comes from Greek mythology and refers to a handsome young man name Narcissus who fell in love with himself. Whenever he would come along a pool of clear water, he would look at his reflection for hours admiring the view. One day he said to himself, "You are handsome, Narcissus! There’s nobody so handsome in the whole world!" He stooped down to kiss his reflection, fell into the water, and drowned.
Have you ever met a person like this? A person so filled with pride and arrogance they think they are better than others, superior to God and His wisdom? A person who is patting themselves on the back for what they have accomplished in life? The book of Proverbs tells us that God rewards the humble not the proud. He even says pride is one of the seven deadly sins – so avoid it because it only brings disaster.
Illustration: From sermoncentral.com from Austin Mansfield:
We think that God wants us to try something on our own first, and then come to him in prayer for help only after we’ve worked at it and can’t figure it out. We hear the saying, “God helps those who help themselves” and think it’s true. Many people even believe it’s in the Bible. It’s not. It actually comes from Greek mythology. A man is pushing his cart along a dirt road and it gets stuck in the mud. He sits down on the ground next to the cart and asks the gods to free his cart. Hercules appears say, “Get up, man, and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves.”
Sounds harmless right! Sounds logical right! Yes, it seems like the good old American work ethic but the subtle danger is we humans really want to take credit for our successes and our victories when the majority of our achievements or blessings come directly from the hand of God.