Proverbs 18:12 - Pride vs. Humility.
Prov 18:12 (KJV) Before destruction the heart of man is
haughty, and before honour is humility.
Prov 18:12 (NIV) Before his downfall a man's heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
Prov 18:12 (NCV) Proud people will be ruined, but the humble
will be honored.
Prov 18:12 (CWB) Pride precedes a man's fall, but before honor
Prov 18:12 (TLB) Pride ends in destruction; humility ends in
The proud attitude heads the list of seven things God hates
(6:16-17). [Life Application SB]
Since destruction is the natural consequence of sin, and pride
is the basic sin, it is to be expected that men's hearts should
reach the heights of haughtiness before the consequences of sin
overtake them. [SDA Commentary]
The way to honor is through humility. The humility and
exaltation of Jesus provides the classic example of this truth.
[Expositors Bible Commentary]
Wisdom also comes with humility (11:2; 13:10). [NIV SB]
One of the dangers in the Christian life is to take credit for
what God does. This was the Assyrians' problem. They were a weak
nation until God chose to bless them in order to use them as an
instrument to punish the Israelites. However, the more God blessed them,
the more confident they became in their own strength. When the
farmers had good crops, they credited their farming skills rather than
God. When their army won a victory, their generals took the credit.
When the nation experienced prosperity, the Assyrians attributed it
to their military and political might. Finally, God pointed out the
absurdity of their conclusions (Is 10:5-19).
It is sometimes easier to handle poverty or weakness than wealth
or strength. Poverty causes us to recognize our need for God.
Prosperity persuades us that we no longer require Him. Scripture holds
several examples of those who assumed they were self-sufficient, only to
realize their dire poverty apart from God. Samson was the strongest
person alive, but he forgot that his strength came from God. Once God
removed his strength, Samson was reduced to a pitiful slave. Saul was
the first king of Israel, yet when God removed His Spirit from this
proud monarch, he became a paranoid, petty man, seeking counsel from
Be careful how you handle the success God gives you! As you
enjoy His blessings in your family, your business, or your ministry,
keep in mind that you are an instrument in the hands of the Master.
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Isa. 10:5-19]
It is an old and common saying, that "coming events cast their
shadows before them;" the wise man teaches us that a haughty heart is
the prophetic prelude of evil. Pride is as safely the sign of
destruction as the change of mercury in the weather-glass is the sign of
rain; and far more infallibly so than that. When men have ridden the
high horse, destruction has always overtaken them. Let David's aching
heart show that there is an eclipse of a man's glory when he dotes
upon his own greatness. 2 Sam. 24:10. See Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty
builder of Babylon, creeping on the earth, devouring grass like oxen,
until his nails had grown like bird's claws, and his hair like eagle's
feathers. Dan. 4:33. Pride made the boaster a beast, as once before it
made an angel a devil. God hates high looks, and never fails to bring
them down. All the arrows of God are aimed at proud hearts. O
Christian, is thine heart haughty this evening? For pride can get into the
Christian's heart as well as into the sinner's; it can delude him into
dreaming that he is "rich and increased in goods, and hath need of
nothing." Art thou glorying in thy graces or thy talents? Art thou proud
of thyself, that thou hast had holy frames and sweet experiences?
Mark thee, reader, there is a destruction coming to thee also. Thy
flaunting poppies of self-conceit will be pulled up by the roots, thy
mushroom graces will wither in the burning heat, and thy self-sufficiency
shall become as straw for the dunghill. If we forget to live at the
foot of the cross in deepest lowliness of spirit, God will not forget
to make us smart under his rod.... Wherefore, "He that glorieth, let
him glory in the Lord." Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon
What is it that keeps you from seeing yourself as you really
are, others from seeing you as you wish you really were, and God from
helping you become what you would really like to be?
As you ponder that riddle, take a look at the lesson contained
in 18:12. (It's so important, you'll find it also in 16:18-19.)
Pride--in yourself, your possessions, your abilities--brings
destruction. Humility--before God, before others, before yourself--brings
honor. God delights in raising up the lowly (3:34), but He despises the
proud (6:16-17; 16:5). A proud person fights himself (8:36), others
(13:10), and God (16:5), and eventually his end is destruction. Just as
pride caused Lucifer to want to be greater than God (Isaiah 14:12-14),
resulting in condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6), so pride can ruin your life.
Look for opportunities today to exercise humility instead of
pride. Nothing is as hard to do gracefully as getting down off your
high-horse--and nothing is as necessary! Look for one person whose needs and
interests you can place above your own today. Go out of your way to
express a word of sincere appreciation. Remember, all you have and are
is given to you by God (1 Corinthians 4:7).
And if you had trouble with the riddle, remember that pride
covers your own sins; pride obscures the view of others; and pride
hinders service for God! [Your Daily Walk SB & Daily Walk Bible SB]
When we are filled with pride, we cannot see our weaknesses. We
build a wall of denial that is almost impregnable. And if we cannot
admit our faults, they will never be corrected, and we will suffer the
consequences. On the other hand, humility opens the door for correction. When
we honestly evaluate our life, we open our eyes to our weaknesses
and can then take steps to improve and correct things. This may
cause us some pain now, but it will be much more bearable than the
pain of a life destroyed by dependencies and compulsions. [Life
The yoke of the Lord Jesus will never fit on a stiff neck. [Your
Daily Walk SB & Daily Walk Bible SB]