“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Arrogance is dangerous. It distorts, deceives, and destroys. And because we tend to be self-oriented, arrogance is easy to fall into. We all have a tendency to be “right in our own eyes.” However, we must understand—as the book of Proverbs teaches—that arrogance is the way of a fool, whereas humility is the way of wisdom.
The word for pride here is the Hebrew zadon. It refers to arrogance and self-centered pride that rejects God’s standards and authority. This kind of pride is marked by an inflated sense of personal authority (“I am in charge of things around here.”), a rebellious disobedience (“I don’t have to listen to you!”) and willful selfishness (“It’s my life. I can do what I want.”).
Zadon — arrogance and selfishness — is the spirit of our time. Many people live and work in willful disregard for God’s standards and principles. They act not on the basis of timeless truth, but on the basis of personal preference, popular narrative, and impulsive feelings.
Zadon has been institutionalized in American society. Many of the culture-shaping institutions of our nation operate in open disregard for and defiance of God’s principles. Judeo-Christian principles are dismissed and marginalized in most of our social systems. People and institutions in our time arrogantly believe they know better than God.
As this Proverb says, arrogance / zadon eventually produces disgrace. The Hebrew word for disgrace is qalon, and it means “shame or dishonor.” This is what inevitably happens as a result of arrogant disregard for God’s standards.
The wise person is humble and submits to the direction and correction of the Lord. It is what the prophet Micah says: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
Approach everything in your life with this mindset. At home, at work, in the community … seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
The Lord is calling.