Last summer, the Bible reading guide I was following took me through Proverbs in a month. I enjoyed it so much (except for 5 through 7 for obvious reasons), and I decided to read a chapter a day for several months. I could do this every day for the rest of my life and still not gain all of the wisdom contained there. It's a great book.
Well, this past month, Scotty has been reading through Proverbs, and I decided to join in. He's reading The Message version, and my translation is NAS. It's been fun to compare specific verses and discuss. By the way, I've heard argument that The Message is a 'watered down' version of the Bible, and Christians should stick to the other versions. I thought this to be a ridiculous argument the first time I saw it. And, after comparing this past month, I'm convinced the argument is absurd. Scotty's Message version packed a punch when placed next to mine. Rather than watering it down, it seemed to amp up the Truth in today's phrases. Man.... some people just look for trouble!
That was extra! I'm getting back to my point.
O.K. PRIDE! It's spoken of and against throughout Proverbs. Over and over, the writer is advising against pride. He's suggesting we take drastic measures to prevent pride in our own lives. On occasion, he even recommends we call out the pride in the lives of others.
I dislike pride! A LOT! I'm angered by it in other people, and I'm disgusted when it pops up within me. But, even I found this verse to be drastic.
"A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy." Proverbs 29:1
That seems a little harsh. Beyond remedy? Really? Then, check THIS out....
For people who hate discipline and only get more stubborn, there’ll come a day when life tumbles in and they break, but by then it’ll be too late to help them. (The Message)
These seem like extreme phrases.... 'too late to help', 'they break', 'broken beyond remedy'. I'm an optimist. I don't see things as beyond help. I like to think that it's never too late.
However, I began to think about certain scenarios.
An employer WILL run out of patience with an employee who refuses to receive correction and discipline. At some point, a mistake will be made, a profit loss will occur, a customer will complain and it will be too late. This employee will be fired. And, what was the cause? Pride!
A business being run corruptly or unprofessionally can survive at times and even thrive. Friends, family, accountants, other professionals can advise a leader to make changes. He may be unwilling, because his ways seem to be working. But, typically, there WILL come a day when poor decisions add up and the business crumbles... beyond remedy. And, what was the cause? Pride!
In families, there is dysfunction. In friendships, there is dysfunction. All relationships contain a certain amount of dysfunction. There's no way around that, because we are sinful people. If we want to hold on to these relationships, we MUST exercise humility rather than pride. When we know that we've hurt someone else, we either choose to admit it as a mistake and attempt to learn better ways to relate OR we choose to "harden our necks" insisting that the OTHER person is wrong or over reacting. In this scenario, there WILL come a day when the relationship is beyond remedy. It may not be over. But, it has tumbled. It has broken! And, it's simply too late. And, why? Pride.
God has blessed me tremendously by creating a spirit of humility in Scotty. Two years ago, he was at a crossroads... continue in pride? or face this with humility? The more I read in Proverbs, the more grateful I become. But, this isn't always our collective choice. We are definitely not beyond "stiffening our necks".
I want to be constantly looking at my life, my choices, and my relationships. I want to accept correction when someone is trying to help me. I want to make a change before something is broken. Because, there IS a time that will be "too late". There are things/relationships that are "beyond remedy". And, I never, ever want to reach that point.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Proverbs 16:18
First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall. The Message version
Ouch! and Ouch!!
You rarely know how things will turn out, but... - [image: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8uoyk5Jw2XILk-cR6Bf8KqzjZqfjgToMotvqsvK0P4ewgkhwQmA] Denzel Washington starred in the movie ...
3 months ago