“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:18, 20,21 NIV)
The Word provides us with much insight about wisdom and pride. Not only through the proverbs, but through James who says, “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives liberally and won’t upbraid (find fault with) us for asking” (James 1:5 paraphrased) It would appear from this simple statement that James understood all that was said about wisdom through the insight given to Solomon and other sages.
Wisdom is referenced as a female in several places, but the female reference is also used to warn against adultery and other folly.
A wise person receives correction and instruction from wise counsel. Only a fool rebels against correction and instruction.
But who is wiser than God? No, not one human being is wiser than God. God gave Solomon wisdom and Solomon shared what God had given him, but he never assumed he was wiser than God.
Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV
vs. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.
vs. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
vs. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
vs. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
vs. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”
When we ask God for wisdom–insight to solving problems and addressing issues, we must not only hear what He says, but know how to apply what He says. For instance, we can obtain information and not know what to do with it and if we don’t know what to do with the information we have, what good is it?
If we establish guidelines and protocols to ensure order in all that we do, yet we do not follow the protocol and chaos erupts, what was the point of establishing the guidelines in the beginning?
Many motivational speakers, successful corporations–large and small–understand that without a sound plan and adherence to the plan–success is not possible.
Jesus tells us in another passage of scripture that,”a wise person considers the cost of building anything before they start to build.”(Luke 14:28 paraphrased).
On the flip side of exercising wisdom is the conduct of a fool who allows his pride to rule. And there is much said about fools in Proverbs,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV),
“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2 NIV)
“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” (Proverbs 15:7 NIV)
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)
What I’m taking from all that is said about wisdom, knowledge and fools, is that if we don’t know God or know how to seek Him when making decisions, we set ourselves for failure because we allow our pride to keep us from seeking Him.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV)
Herein is the heart of the matter. When we think that our plans can succeed without wise counsel or consideration of all involved in the planning, our plans are doomed to failure. Though they may appear to succeed for a moment; the final outcome tells the whole story.
The difference between success and failure of any entity or individual lies in the ability one has to set aside pride (the “I” mentality) and to seek wisdom from wise counsel. If we do not think we need to heed wise counsel and instruction, then our failure is our own and we must look within to determine how we change the course of events.
Are we wise enough to seek God today for every decision we make or will we allow our pride to cause us to fail? We are the only ones who can make that decision for God does not make anyone do anything.
I pray God’s wisdom will overflow into your hearts today and pride will never be the reason for failure in any area of your lives.