God’s Word reveals to us over and over, how much He both knows and loves His created people.
Here is one way, I see that play out in Scripture. In the book of Proverbs (and elsewhere), the Lord gives us both warnings about pride and promises about humility.
He knows that we’re all born with sinful and self-centered hearts that are not bent toward humility. Rather, He knows that we are bent toward pride. That the posture we are born with, apart from the saving and transforming grace of God, is a posture that places ‘me, myself, and I’ at the center of the universe.
And yet pride is not how we’ve been called to live. And so the Lord loves us enough to give us warnings if we allow our pride to grow, and refuse to repent of it. Like a parent warning a child about danger up ahead, so the Lord warns His created people about the dangers of pride.
And yet He loves us enough to not stop at just the warnings. In addition, He gives us the antidote. He warns us about the destructive path of pride, and at the same time, shows us the promises that are alongside the path toward a growing humility in Christ.
Listen to the Father giving us both warnings and promises…
Proverbs 11:2: When arrogance comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 13:10: Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, but wisdom is gained by those who take advice.
Proverbs 16:18: Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 22:4: Humility, the fear of the Lord, results in wealth, honor, and life.
Proverbs 29:23: A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.
And in those verses, the Father also gives us two ways that we can continue to grow in humility…
Fear the Lord (22:4). Meaning live in a posture of reverential awe before the Lord and His infinite, good, and holy nature and character. So we reject sitting on the throne of our lives, and rather we bow before the One who is eternally reigning and ruling. And the way we get to know His nature and character is through His Words to us. The living and active Word reveals Himself to us, and as we get to know Him, our awe of Him increases.
Take advice (13:10). And not just any advice. This world is plenty of advice givers that will astray (Psalm 1:1). Scripture is speaking of godly counsel. Proverbs 11:14 says, Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 12:15 says, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. A sure way to determine if pride is growing in your spirit, is a resistance to seek out and gladly receive godly counsel.
So may we continue to grow in our fear and worship of the Lord. And may we live in Biblical community within the faith family, where we can both give and receive life giving advice.