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DEVOTIONAL: Pride Goes Before A Fall

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.  -Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

Idioms are a popular and charming part of any language. These little phrases and sayings, often figurative and not literal, add color and depth to our speech and writings. Common idioms include “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” “the tip of the iceberg,” and “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

Maybe you’ve heard the old saying, “Pride goes before a fall,” but did you know that saying is almost 3,000 years old and comes from the Bible? It is actually the first half of Proverbs 16:18, and the second half completes the idea. “And a haughty spirit before a fall.” In this verse, this is not “pride” like healthy self-esteem or taking healthy pleasure in one’s work. This kind of pride is what we mean by arrogance, egotism, narcissism, cockiness, and self-centeredness. It puts Self, instead of God, at the center of one’s life and existence.

The Bible clearly teaches this kind of egotistical attitude is wrong.

Although the Bible does not cite the exact words “the 7 Deadly Sins,” Pride comes first on that list. In contrast to such arrogance, the Bible tells us to embrace a totally different attitude: humility. Proverbs 18:12 cautions us, “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (NIV)

Instead of always trying to promote yourself, do you know how the Bible says you can let God lift you up? James 4:10 tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (NIV) Make the choice to be humble and modest, and watch God raise you up!

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