Proverb for Today
Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen. (Proverbs 25:6-7, MEV)
It’s interesting to me that in yesterday’s devotional, we studied the importance of picking ourselves up when we fall. And as we approach today’s proverb, we see that our own pride has the potential to knock us down with lingering consequences in the public eye.
We all have an ego. We all want to look good to others. We want to know that our reputation is shining bright. We like knowing that when we walk in a room, everyone has a positive opinion of us.
But if we’re not careful, this leads very quickly to over-inflating our own social standing. We begin to prefer ourselves over others, when it should be the other way around.
Our proverb gives us a painful example of how inflated ego and pride plays out.
A proud man walks right up to the king and stands with the other known great men, but because he is not yet a great man, when they run out of room where he’s standing, he’s asked to leave to make room. This is done publicly, and everyone watches as he walks away in shame.
Now, everyone is painfully aware of the man’s inflated ego, having watched the awkward exchange as he left the room, and it will most likely be a long time before he ventures into the upper crowd—or be invited back up by anyone else.
Be careful with pride. Before you know it, you’ll do damage that takes a great amount of time to repair.
As the Apostle Paul reminds, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sound judgment, according to the measure of faith God has distributed to every man” (Romans 12:3).
The next time your ego wants to do the talking, use your judgment and honestly assess your own standing, before it’s too late.
Reflect and Respond
- We all struggle with pride in at least one area or social setting. What group of people or setting do you consistently act in pride?
- Think through the repercussions of an inflated ego. What damage will this do to your marriage, kids, coworkers, friends?
- Who around you can you help by giving a gracious challenge to avoid pride?