“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23)
How strange: pride keeps the proud man from receiving the respect he craves. We want people to have a favorable opinion of us, but they never will when we walk in pride. Only when we are clothed in humility will we grow in favor with God and man.
When we humble ourselves before God, acknowledging any wrongdoing and depending on Him for all our righteousness, we find grace in His sight. But when we won’t humble ourselves; when we harden our mind in pride, He resists us. Likewise, when we refuse to humble ourselves before people we’ve offended; when we “stick to our guns,” we make ourselves repugnant and lose favor in their sight.
We can say we don’t care what people think about us. But deep down we do. It is one thing for men to cast us out of their sight and to say all manner of evil against us falsely, for righteousness sake. It is another for us to make ourselves persona non grata because of our own folly.
Pride is a destroyer. It ruins relationship with God and man. It brings us into shame and disgrace. But there is a beauty and glory in humility that attracts both God and man. The wise know which way is up and which way is down. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility” (Prov. 18:2)