Pride and Shame (Proverbs 11:2)



Why is it that pride and shame go together?  Is their some mystical connection?  I think not.  Shame is the emotional condition experienced by a person who made and recognized a wrongful or poor act and sees it as a reflection of what they are.  

As children, we experienced shame.  Our shame usually involved life events such as elementary school toileting accidents, disappointing others, failing tests, not being faithful to others in relationships, etc.  Some of these events of shame can be related to our abilities, but others come from pride.  Think about pride and shame?

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

Shame comes to the proud, because they are destined to make wrong actions and decisions.  They are destined because they are blinded to truth which would enable them to make right decisions.  What blinds them from truth is pride. 

Pride causes people to downplay the help and wisdom of others. It leads them to trust in their inflated ability instead of recognizing the abilities of others.  Pride blinds because it is selfish.  It wants to be right and to take complete credit for success.  Because of their pride, these people are destined to experience shame.  What is sad is that more than likely, they will blame their shameful condition on the inabilities of others and not recognize that their plight was of their own making.

To keep this from happening to you, heed to the wisdom of the scriptures.  Seek advice from those who demonstrate wisdom and humility.  Through prayer, seek guidance from God.  And finally, strive to make right decisions and not just be right.  When right decisions are made, praise the wisdom and efforts of those involved who enabled you to make the right decision.

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Doubt and Pride (Luke 7:1-10)

When we approach God in prayer, we could come with one of two attitudes.  We either believe that God is the hope for our cause and that because of our devotion to him, we should expect our prayer to be answered or we are unsure of his response because we see ourselves as unworthy.  

Both extremes are incorrect.  Many times because we feel unworthy, our faith is diminished hindering God from responding and answering our prayers.  Have you ever met someone who felt that they had sinned too much and could not be saved?  However, there are other occasions when people feel that because they have abstained from sinful actions and live a separated life for God that they are more likely to be heard.  In all truth, there is not one person who ever lived righteously enough to deserve an answer to prayer.

When we start thinking that we deserve something from God, we move from humble created being to proud mimic of Lucifer.  The ugliness of pride can creep into our lives without us even knowing it and when it does, it is subtle and usually undetected.  The heart is still deceitful above all things.

Have you ever been bothered because God did not answer a prayer.  If you have, it was because of pride.  Will God answer prayer? Yes!  Will it ever be based on our worthiness?  No! but remember, there are two things that hinder faith: doubt and pride.

Like A One Way Street (Proverbs 11:2)

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

I remember one time driving around a town and trying to get to a particular destination. Along the way, I made a wrong turn and was trying to get myself turned around and back onto the right track. Since this was before GPS devices, I needed to figure out my route on my own. It seemed that each time I was close enough to get back to where I made my error, I would run into a one way street. I didn’t want the street to go in the one way direction, I wanted it to go my direction. Facing life’s problems can much the same way.

When a person’s heart is filled with pride, it is like a one way street. The solution for everything comes from within them. They never allow advice to come in and influence their hearts and mind because of the pride that resides there. The Lord warns us that when prides comes into our hearts, the end result will be shame or disgrace. However for the humble it is different. They don’t see themselves as self sufficient, but instead look outside of themselves for strength and help and desire that it would come into them. Their end result is wisdom.

This passage warns us to guard our hearts: not only from outside influences that can corrupt our hearts, but from the corruption that has dwelled within man since the fall. God’s word is sufficient to produce all the wisdom necessary for us to be successful, but we must seek it and yield to its teaching.

Pride Versus Hope (Psalm 131)

The enemy of hope is pride. It is a proud heart that raises itself up in trying to deal with matters too lofty for itself. It is a proud heart that refuses to adjust its behavior to what The Lord wants. As a dependent child submits himself to his nurturing mother, a prideful heart will not stand in awe before God and submit itself to him and his plan. A prideful heart cannot and will not wait on The Lord.

Trouble waiting on the Lord reveals a prideful heart that wants to take over. As anxiety builds, so is pride. A person resists submitting to God because they have already submitted to their own pride.

Pride still comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18). Pride is not confined to the act of looking down at others. It is the attitude that people have after their hearts have been deceived into thinking that they can handle matters greater than their ability. Whether it be sin, raising children, managing finances, work, or any other area of life makes no difference. Pride moves man into the driver’s seat of his life and as long as he remains there, he will not experience hope.

Man does not need to do anything to get hope. He simply needs to remove himself and his prideful heart from the plan. When he does, The Lord takes over and with him comes hope.