Proverbs 13:10, “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
In today’s proverb King Solomon gives the root cause of strife, pride. Think about it, pride has been the source of all strife since the beginning of time. From Satan’s fall from heaven, to the Jewish leaders who had bitter disagreements with Jesus; pride has always been the “root” of the “fruit” of striving.
Strife means, “bitter conflict and angry disputing.” Though there are times to be angry and fight for a righteous cause (ex., “just war” or “self-defense”), strife against God and His Word is harmful because people who strive are in rebellion. Often times when people strive against God, they strive against those who speak God’s wisdom. For example, those who reject the Bible strive with us when we give them biblical wisdom regarding their sins. The reason they strive is because they are in pride and rebellion against God (John 15:18-23).
Christians strive with each other when one or both people involved are operating in pride instead of choosing love and humility. That is why we always should be teachable and willing to growing in our faith. Solomon called these kind of beneficial friendships, “iron sharpening iron” in Proverbs 27:17. As disciple’s of Christ we should be led by the Holy Spirit and not our emotions. In all our interactions with people we should reject pride and walk in humility.
Sadly, one of the biggest problems with pride is that it’s always easier to see it in others than it is to see in you. Richard Bach said, “The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid.” That is why most of the times you’re in pride, you cannot recognize it because of the very nature of pride itself, you’re lying to yourself. Pride by definition means, “to be un-teachable, above correction and to hold false views about one’s self.” Pride deceives us to believe that we’re not in pride. God have mercy on us!
Some might be discouraged now and ask, “How then can I know if I’m in pride, since pride is self-deceiving?” Don’t fret or fear, King Solomon’s wisdom is here! The answer is given in the parallel statement, “wisdom is found in those who take advice.” The way to know if you’re in pride is to see if you’re willing to receive godly advice. Certainly not all the advice you’ll receive in life is to be received. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all wisdom and give you discernment. God will often times use others to teach us things with their voice because we’ve been ignoring His voice.
So next time you’re in an argument, ask God in meditative prayer (to yourself), “Who is not receiving the advice, me or the other person?” If it’s you, quickly repent and be willing to listen and receive the advice. And if you truly believe it’s the other person, humbly try to give them the wisdom of God. Don’t feel pressured to make people listen to your advice, but in gentleness and love, instruct them.
- When was the last time you had strife because of your pride? Ask God to teach you to not let it happen again.
- Seek God to expose any areas in your life you may have pride in and pray for Him to give you humility.
- Learn to accept good advice and try to avoid arguments with people who have pride and are unwilling to accept advice (Matthew 7:6).