Pride in Proverbs

Thanks to our planet completing another revolution around the sun by the upholding of Christ our Lord, June has come again. While summer officially begins later in the month, here in Oklahoma the heat has already arrived, and already even the cool breeze of spring is giving way to the summer warmth.

Recently, however, June’s status as the beginning of summer has been overshadowed by another designation: Pride Month. This, of course, refers to the month-long celebration by the LGBT community of taking pride in their sexual identities. Through the lens of Romans 1, it is the desperate attempt of those “who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (v. 18) to encourage everyone to “give approval” (v. 32) to them. Perhaps if the whole world cheers its approval, it will drown out the unceasing whisper of God’s law “written on their hearts” (Romans 2:15).

Most distressing, however, is the blatant promotion of what our formerly Christianized culture would have unapologetically called a vice, even the greatest vice. Lewis was correct in saying that “unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”[1] Of course, we should not be surprised. Our society has been anti-God for quite some time. Indeed, we should be somewhat thankful that the cards are being laid upward on the table for all to see. No scales should remain upon our eyes. No Christian society could celebrate the great sin of pride.

Last year, I wrote three articles upon the subject of pride and humility. They were linked together by a common verse. Proverbs 3:34 says, “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.” In the New Testament, James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5 both cite the Greek version of that verse as saying, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble.”

For the next four Wednesdays of June, I offer similar, though shorter, writings upon four of Proverbs‘ references to pride in the English Standard Version. These verses are:

Proverbs 11:2 | When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18 | Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 21:24 | “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.

Proverbs 29:23 | One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

As I said last year, I repeat again here, I have no aim to write polemic attacks upon the LGBT movement. In part, this is because the prevalence of sexual deviations in society is merely a symptom of a much deeper anti-God pride. We first had the arrogance to reject the Creator, and then we rejected the belief that man is anything more than an animal. Why, then, have we been surprised by the rejection of sexual distinctions now? Pride must inevitably throw off all chains of creatureliness, for it cannot stand any reminder of the Creator.

Also, in all of this, I do not aim to write as if pride was only committed by non-Christians. To quote Lewis again:

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.[2]

Pride is a universal sin, and I am among the infected. Therefore, as we study what Proverbs has to say about this great sin, may we lament and repent of pride rather than exalting it as a virtue.


[1] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 122.

[2] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 128.

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