Proverbs 11:2

Proverbs 11:2 "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."
Proverbs 11:2 Church Buffalo NY
Because the human heart is so deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), it fools us so easily and so often. We foolishly employ tactics to pacify our insecurities and fears that ultimately make them worse.  Take, for example, an attention-hungry person.  An attention-hungry person craves attention because they stand in constant need of affirmation. They seek constant affirmation because they are insecure.  They are insecure because they are ultimately, too self-centered.  Such a person obtains attention by saying bombastic things or by doing outlandish things because those are the only ways to stand out in the midst of masses of people.  In the process of saying and/or doing bizarre things, this affirmation-dependent person attracts criticism and disapproval.  This then only results in further insecurities.

Human nature is deeply flawed in its assessment of PRIDE.  It thinks pride will solve many of its problems.  We think it's a manifestation of strength and demonstrates confidence.  We think it is the way to prevent people from getting an advantage over us.  We think pride is noble.  We foolishly think it will bring us respect and honor among our peers.  We buy into this idea that we should be proud of who we are, especially if society doesn't accept us.  We buy into this idea that we shouldn't let anyone tell us that we're wrong.  By intensely and proudly embracing who we are, we think pride will bring us satisfaction and fulfillment.  When we think this way, we allow our hearts to deceive us.

"When pride cometh, then cometh shame."

When we allow pride in our lives, we think we're fixing our problems with insecurity.  Unfortunately, we only make those issues worse because "when pride cometh, THEN cometh shame."  When we welcome pride into our lives, we are unknowingly welcoming shame into our lives.  By boasting of our accomplishments or attributes, we think we're soothing our insecurities.  Sadly and unknowingly, we're only stirring up disdain from our peers as no one likes a boaster.  This disdain brings shame.  This newly produced shame causes new insecurities, which only make those initial insecurities worse.  When we welcome pride into our lives, we are unknowingly welcoming shame into our lives.  By refusing to let anyone speak poorly of or to you (out of pride), we say and do things that are cruel, harsh and unloving.  In the process, we easily hurt those who we are refused to be hurt by.  As a result of our aggressive behavior, onlookers take note of our arrogant actions and label us in very unfavorable ways.  Pride doesn't bring anything good to our lives - it brings shame.

This is what I call the Locomotive Principle. All virtues and all vices are like locomotives, in that they're all pulling something behind them.  We don't see what they're pulling because their cargo is behind them in cars obscured by the muscle and smoke of the engine.  Vices are especially mistaken as strength and power.  We think these vices will benefit us, not seeing that with those vices come their loads of consequences.  In this proverb's case, pride carries a load full of heavy consequences.  We don't see it until we welcome it into our soul's central station - the heart.  Once we allow pride to come into our life, we realize too late that it comes with a painful load, called shame.  No matter the reason we allow pride to come, it comes with shame.  No matter the manifestation of pride, it comes with shame.  Shame is permanently linked to pride.  Shame is forever hitched to pride.  It is connected tightly and welded permanently to pride.  Shame goes where pride goes.  The two cannot be separated.

Since the beginning of time, as seen with Cain and Abel, mankind has been fooling himself into thinking pride will fix our insecurities and problems.  We fool ourselves into thinking insecurities can be fixed by standing up for ourselves.  We fool ourselves into thinking we can obtain affirmation by pride.  We think pride will save the day when it only ruins the day.  We think pride will make us feel better when it only makes us feel worse.  We think pride will make others respect us when it only makes others despise us.  As a race, we fail to see beyond the engine of pride and see the car of shame it carries with it.  No matter where, when or with who, "when pride cometh, then cometh shame."

This is the Locomotive Principle.  Fortunately for us, it works in the other direction as well.  Virtue also always carries a car of consequence.  In this proverb's case, humility pulls wisdom into our soul's central station.  Wherever humility goes, wisdom goes.  Humility and wisdom are inseparable.  Wherever humility goes, wisdom follows.  Whatever relationship humility leads into, wisdom follows.  Most who welcome humility into their heart don't even realize that wisdom follows because it's hard to see the car behind the engine.  It is for this reason that humble people rarely acknowledge their wisdom - it is precisely because they are lowly.  Proud people rarely acknowledge their shame because they are proud and humble people rarely acknowledge their wisdom because they are humble.  Rest assured, pride always brings shame on some level and lowliness always brings wisdom to some degree.

What engine are you welcoming into your soul's central station? Look beyond the big engine.  Look beyond the smoke.  Peer around the side and look at what it's pulling.  Both vice and virtue are powerful and influential but each pulls a very different load of consequences.  Don't fool yourself, vice always brings a consequence that makes your problems worse.  In this case, pride always makes your insecurities worse and it does so by always bringing shame with it.

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