Continuing our thoughts on what it means to be humble and poor in spirit, I came across four consecutive verses in Proverbs that spoke to me. The first Scripture speaks to what we think is most important. Worldly people spend their lives going after gold, silver and money. How important is money to you? How much energy do you expend to gain more?
“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (Prov 16:16) Wisdom and understanding are more important than all the gold, silver and money. We need to get our priorities right. We should be joyful knowing wisdom is in the Bible, and we are free to prayerfully read it and take it to heart. If we need to fret, it should be about not applying ourselves as diligently to the biblical pursuit of wisdom and understanding as we should.
The next Scripture should answer if we are on the correct road or not. “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.” (Prov 16:17) If we stay on the highway of the upright, we will save our life from much trouble. The Bible marks the road well, but there are many large and enticing turns to get us lost. The winners in the race of life, the redeemed of the Lord, stay on the highway of the upright (Is 35:8-10).
What detours the correct path the Lord chooses for us is our pride, which is a force stronger than gravity. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov 16:18) Getting arrogant or puffed up about anything is a sure way to end up flat on our face. Haughty or proud men are going down just as surely as nuts fall from a tree. This Scripture strongly suggests that we humble ourselves today, and hate and turn away from (repent) our pride.
Pride is poison to the heart, soul, and mind. It hardens the heart from loving and forgiving others, so it corrodes relationships. It cauterizes the soul against correction and warnings, so it leads to terrible backslidings and falls. It blinds the mind to dangers and risks, so a man rushes into foolish choices and destruction without ordinary caution.
It is easy to spot pride in someone else, but not always ourselves. They talk a lot, especially about themselves or their opinions. They don’t serve others voluntarily, for it is beneath them. They reject advice or warnings, become easily angered, criticize others, and hold onto bitterness for past offences, and always has an excuse for their bad actions, instead of a humble apology. They make commitments they don’t want to keep, and speak hastily and without sincerity. The problems in their life is always someone else’s fault. They won’t seek help, and choose to rule mainly by tyranny.
God will judge the proud, because their arrogance is obnoxious to Him. But He will bless and favor the humble by His mighty power. “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Prov 16:19) We must do two things to choose this better life for God’s blessings. We must choose a humble spirit for ourselves, and we must choose humble friends, even if they are poor.
What is the cure for pride? We are to become aware of our pridefulness, confess our sins completely to God, and forsake them. We should apologize to those we have wronged even if we believe the apology will fall on deaf ears, but that’s their hurdle to bear, not ours. We are to humble ourselves and obey all wise advice we have been given. To truly become “poor in spirit”, we choose to serve the lowest person you can find, talk less, retrain our heart and mind to only think kind thoughts about others and reject all revenge.
Here is precious wisdom. Can you grasp it? Will you obey it? The only true God and the wisest king declared a priority for our life to give us contentment and peace. If we want joy and satisfaction, then we must choose the humble poor for friends over the haughty rich. Pride is evil enough to destroy any benefit of wealth.
What makes great friends? The like precious faith other believers have with you (2 Pet 1:1), rather than precious riches the successful have in bank accounts. Rich persons with worldly arrogance never make good friends for godly people (Pr 28:6). Finding great and humble friends is important because pride brings contention and strife, and proud and rich friends will soon conspire to hurt you and take your assets (Pr 13:10).
Why is this priority true?
- Because the Lord loves and blesses the humble, but He hates and opposes the proud (I Pet 5:5-6). What man wants the Lord as his enemy?
- Because contentment is the key to happiness and success (I Tim 6:6). The proud and the rich always want more than they have.
- Because you never lose giving up things for Jesus Christ (Mark 8:34-37). In fact, the only way to success with your life is to lose it for Him.
- Because you cannot take riches with you, but the lowly that trust in God have untold riches waiting for them (I Tim 6:7).
“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Prov 16:16-19)
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