Daily Devotionals

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Week 4: Thursday

Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Proverbs 13:10

Pride is disruptive to our own well-being. It causes us to become self-absorbed people more concerned about ourselves than others. It destroys us from the inside out. But, unfortunately, that is not the only thing that pride does. Pride also destroys our relationships. After all, we cannot have solid relationships when only looking out for our needs and interests.

The author of Proverbs 13 writes about the hindrance of pride to our relationships. He writes, “Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise” (verse 10). We have all seen the wisdom in this verse to be true. Pride brings about conflict. When we give in to pride, we often hurt people or say the wrong thing. We criticize and use our words to tear people down. People also become very frustrated with us. We damage relationships all around us. There is a better way than letting pride harm our relationships. Instead of living in pride, we can look out for the needs of the people around us. Philippians 2:4 puts it this way, "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." When we start looking out for others and their needs instead of our own, we stop living pridefully. We stop focusing on ourselves and our needs. Living this way shifts our relationships. It strengthens them. We see less conflict and more care and concern for the people around us.

When it comes to your relationships, has pride set in? Think briefly about how pride has brought about hurt and conflict in your relationships. Then, commit to living differently. Choose to look out not just for yourself but also for others. Focus on how you can serve them rather than how they can serve you. As you live a lifestyle of humility, you will see the relationships around you thrive.

Moving toward action

One way to let go of pride is to do something to help someone else. Who do you know who is in need today? Reach out to them today and ask them how you can help. As you focus on yourself and your needs, you will take your eyes off yourself and slowly let go of pride as you adjust your focus.

Going Deeper

Proverbs 13:1-25

"A wise child accepts a parent's discipline;
a mocker refuses to listen to correction.

2 Wise words will win you a good meal,
but treacherous people have an appetite for violence.

3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life;
opening your mouth can ruin everything.

4 Lazy people want much but get little,
but those who work hard will prosper.

5 The godly hate lies;
the wicked cause shame and disgrace.

6 Godliness guards the path of the blameless,
but the evil are misled by sin.

7 Some who are poor pretend to be rich;
others who are rich pretend to be poor.

8 The rich can pay a ransom for their lives,
but the poor won't even get threatened.

9 The life of the godly is full of light and joy,
but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.

10 Pride leads to conflict;
those who take advice are wise.

11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears;
wealth from hard work grows over time.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble;
those who respect a command will succeed.

14 The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain;
those who accept it avoid the snares of death.

15 A person with good sense is respected;
a treacherous person is headed for destruction.

16 Wise people think before they act;
fools don't-and even brag about their foolishness.

17 An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble,
but a reliable messenger brings healing.

18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace;
if you accept correction, you will be honored.

19 It is pleasant to see dreams come true,
but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise;
associate with fools and get in trouble.

21 Trouble chases sinners,
while blessings reward the righteous.

22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren,
but the sinner's wealth passes to the godly.

23 A poor person's farm may produce much food,
but injustice sweeps it all away.

24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

25 The godly eat to their hearts' content,
but the belly of the wicked goes hungry."