Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. — Proverbs 16:18

Proverbs 16:18

The same two kinds of pride show up in many languages. Both kinds have to do with being majestic or exalted in some way. One kind of pride is good—for example, when parents view the development of their children as remarkable. But the other kind of pride is very bad.

Throughout Proverbs we read about the good development that can happen when someone pursues wisdom. True wisdom is gained through God. And even though a wise person can go through many ups and downs in life, the wisdom they’ve gained will help to hold their life together.

But beware of trying to keep it all together on your own. Beware of the pride that makes you think that anything you built on your own is worth more. Or that because you built it by yourself you won’t need anyone’s help to hold it together. Or, most dangerous of all, that because you have been self-sufficient, you are a greater person than people who have relied on others.

That kind of pride leads to destruction. Poetically this verse is saying that if you have built something without God, then it isn’t built very well. It’s not built to last. Sooner or later, the so-called majestic life you built without God will simply fall apart.

Father God, keep us from the foolish pride that prompts us to build our lives on the rickety version of success prized by this world. Amen.

Bible References

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

Proverbs 29

29 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.

The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.

If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.

12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.

14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.

22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.

25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.

27 An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

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