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Pride can definitely trip you up in many ways. Have you ever tripped over a door’s threshold? I have many a time. Yes, I am THAT person, the one who can, with great ease, fall upstairs. These thresholds that can so easily trip us up physically call to my mind a verse in Proverbs and the subject of pride. So let’s have a look at it and see what we can learn about the subject of pride in the Bible.
Pride in the Bible – Raising Your Doors
As part of my daily Bible reading, I enjoy the Book of Proverbs. It always gives me some little nugget of wisdom I need at just the right time and I repeat the book each month. On one particular day I came to chapter 17. It never jumped out at me before but, this day, a verse in that chapter caught my attention and brought my focus to the importance of first impressions and pride.
It is Proverbs 17:19
“He who loves transgression loves strife;
He who raises his door seeks destruction.” NASB
It was the second part of the verse that stood out to me. The person who “raises his door” or builds a high threshold in some other translations, seeks destruction (or invites injury).
To be proud, arrogant. The attitude of pride or arrogance. Something that is “too high” and cannot be understood.
The Hebrew word for “door” (or “gate” or “threshold” depending on the translation) is “petach” and means:
Pride in the Bible – The Importance of First Impressions
Basically, this is saying we are not to make our “entrance” too proud or arrogant or lofty.
What is our “entrance” or our “door” when we meet someone? Our mouth!
Let’s look at Micah 7:5, which speaks of the lack of uprightness among mankind and is often referenced when looking at our verse:
“Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;” ESV
The same Hebrew word for “doors” here in Micah is used; petach! Guard the DOORS of your mouth!
Let’s go back to the first part of Proverbs 17:19 which says:
He who loves transgression loves strife
Someone who takes pleasure in arguments and strife is also the kind of person who sees themselves as loftier, more knowledgable and is more prideful than others.
We have all met people who feel they are more educated in politics than we are, especially nowadays, haven’t we?
They have a way of making others seem less intelligent and more ignorant than they are.
They love to get into debates, whether it be political or religious in nature and seem to just love to hear themselves speak.
This is pride at its finest.
So essentially this means that we should not make or give an impression of being proud or arrogant or it could cause injury. In other words, speaking in a way that is condescending or patronizing or argumentative.
What does it mean by ‘injury’?
Pride in the Bible and in the Pews
It means, when we meet someone or have an interaction with someone or when people see us in our daily walk, our pride or arrogance as a believer in Jesus could cause them to stumble and ultimately fall.
The importance of first impressions (or any impression for that matter) for a believer cannot be understated!
It could cause injury in the sense that we may be the only picture of Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) they ever see and if we behave in a way that shows pride and arrogance or a self-righteous attitude we could turn that person away, maybe permanently.
This is especially true if people come into contact with believers like this in church (or shul if you are a Messianic Jew) for the first time.
If we try to look like we are all super-spiritual and act like “Sister Super Christian” (as Joyce Meyer likes to say) we could put a stumbling block in front of a new believer or a non-believer who feels like they can’t measure up.
People looked down their noses at them because of how they dressed, because they had tattoos, because they weren’t part of the “right” social circles.
These instances are often caused by people erecting high thresholds or raising their doors to the point where people come away with impressions most of us wish they hadn’t.
These poor souls felt that church was more like a social club than a fellowship and a family.
How sad that these people came away from their interactions with people in the family of Yeshua carrying that impression, that injury to their very soul.
We just cannot overlook the importance of first impressions!
When we meet someone or have an interaction with someone, our pride or arrogance as a Christian could cause them to stumble and ultimately fall.
Pride in the Bible – What Does the Word Say?
Let’s see what the Word of the Lord says in these verses about pride in the Bible!
James 4:6 TLV
But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Jeremiah 9:23 CJB
...instead, let the boaster boast about this:that he understands and knows me —that I am Adonai, practicing grace, justice and righteousness in the land; for in these things I take pleasure,” says Adonai.
Proverbs 8:13 CJB
The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil.I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech.
Proverbs 16:5 CJB
Adonai detests all those with proud hearts; be assured that they will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 16:18 NASB
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.
Proverbs 26:12 NASB
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Psalm 10:4 NASB
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Galatians 6:4 NASB
But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
Isaiah 2:12 CJB
Yes, Adonai-Tzva’ot has a day in store for all who are proud and lofty, for all who are lifted high to be humiliated;
Romans 12:3 CJB
For I am telling every single one of you, through the grace that has been given to me, not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance. Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself based on the standard which God has given to each of you, namely, trust.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant...
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 TLV
But “let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it Is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
1 John 2:16 TLV
For everything in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the boasting of life—is not from the Father but from the world.
1 Timothy 6:17
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NASB
...but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.
You May be the Only Bible Someone Ever Reads
If you are a believer in Jesus, you may be the only Bible someone ever reads. You show the world what Yeshua is all about! If your thresholds are too high you are going to cause someone to trip and stumble and potentially fall. This does not just apply to those who aren’t yet saved, you can cause a new believer to fall.
1 Timothy 4:11-16 says:
Insist on these things and teach them.
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but become an example of the faithful—in speech, in conduct, in love, in faithfulness, and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to encouragement, and to teaching.
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands of the elders. Practice these things—be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be clear to all.
Give attention to yourself and your teaching. Persevere in these things, for in doing so you will save yourself and those who hear you. TLV
Are we setting an example or arguing doctrine? Are we showing love or disputing which translation someone uses? Are we showing the love of Jesus?
Do not set too high a threshold!
If you are a Christian, you may be the only Bible someone ever reads. You show the world what Jesus is all about!
Some other posts like “Pride in the Bible” you might enjoy:
CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
NASB – “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation“
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”