When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom
pride: The basic idea is pride, a sense of self-importance, which often is exaggerated to include defiance and even rebelliousness.
What is interesting about this proverb is that it proclaims that the one thing the proud person wants is exactly what this person will not receive. The person who is proud wants to be noticed and to have attention focused on them for who they are or what they do. This person wants their accomplishments trumpeted; they want even just their presence at an event or place trumpeted. They must be noticed. They want honor – the added value that is given to the truly deserving. Their pride, however, causes them to seek attention in a disruptive and obnoxious way.
When the aspect of any person’s personality shows up that has to be noticed or on top, etc., then dishonor is on its way. Hold back those impulses that make you want to focus attention on yourself that moves you to want to be noticed just for being there.
dishonor: This root signifies the lowering of another’s social position. When we seek to elevate our social position or standing through power plays, rebelliousness, bizarre attention, getting devices or stunts, we may get what we seek; but it will come with a lowering of our social position. In other words, the very thing we seek we will not have. This is a pulling away of social esteem and favor. When we seek to be noticed or gain attention for ourselves, we are moving into a place of foolishness and away from wisdom. You can’t find wisdom clamoring for the spotlight. When you seek to be noticed and attention on yourself, you will be devalued. Your goal is negated by the search. Honor is a by-product of a loving life.
humble: The verb means to be modest or humble. The Septuagint translates this Hebrew word with a word that means low-lying. This could be taken to mean calling attention to ourselves – a notice-me spirit. When we seek after the acclaim, fame, or attention of others rather than doing a great thing for the simple sake of its needing to be done, we will find it brings shame. A test in a sense is set up. Can we do something and not demand notice or point out that we did something? If you make too big of a deal about yourself or what you have done, then it will be your downfall. It seems to be that God would have us be noticed for what we truly do, not what we do to be noticed. It is not wrong to be noticed and even to be strong or forceful in our personality. But when we seek out the fame, attention, power, and prestige that accompanies real honor, then we get the opposite of what we wanted. To seek after the results of doing something positive without doing the deed is the essence of pride. It will result in dishonor. I may not know my great-grandchildren at all, but I do want them to know that whatever the world looks like at that point, it is still God’s universe and pride will not help you for long and it will eventually hurt you. Do good things that really help people and the honor you seek will come to you.
wisdom: Wisdom is again that triple-win choice. What type of choices are you making? Are they choices that everybody wins? Does God win? Is He pleased? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so start looking for the wise thing to do by asking what would please God in this circumstance. That is a much better starting place than starting with what would please me or others.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.