Other observations on pride in Proverbs: it is destructive in its effects (30:11-14), it is an irritant to others (25:14), and it often places a person beyond hope (26:12).
What is the underlying cause of pride? In 1 Corinthians 4:7 we read…”For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” So what is the ultimate antidote to pride? Humility and Meekness
Although meekness is not weakness, let us not lose sight of an essential element: tenderness and sensitivity – the capacity to deal gently and compassionately with others. The humble person is not easily provoked:“A meek spirit, like wet tinder, will not easily take fire”. Again: “Those who seek my life lay snares for me; and those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, and they devise treachery all day long. But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; and I am like a dumb man who does not open his mouth” (Psalm 38:12-13). Meekness is the antithesis of hastiness, malice, and revenge. Meekness is living in accordance with the abilities God has given us, neither as if we had more nor less; neither pressing ourselves into situations we are not equipped to handle (for fear that if we don’t people will lose respect for us), nor shying away from those we can. The key to meekness and humility is a healthy acknowledgement of and submission to the sovereign grace of God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Meekness should always be in direct proportion to one’s grasp of grace. Pride is the fruit of the lie that what I have I didn’t receive. Meekness or humility is the fruit of the truth that everything is of God. See also John 3:22-30, esp. vv. 27 and 30.
An essential element in meekness is the willingness to allow others to say about me in public the same things I readily acknowledge before God in private. Meekness is being like Jesus: “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29; Philippians 2:5-11). The measure of Christ’s humility was His compassion. Proud people don’t love the unlovely very well. The measure of your humility is the degree to which you happily embrace the un-embraceable, touch the untouchable, and love the unlovable. When Paul was addressing the Corinthians about their factious pride he said, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1Corinthians 1:31). Paul’s desire to dismantle the soul-destroying, community-rending, God-dishonouring pride at Corinth, required him to do at least two things not just one thing. He must overcome the deception of human self-sufficiency, and he must solve the problem of human insecurity. That is what he is trying to do here in this text. Let’s put it another way, human pride is rooted in two kinds of self-deception. One is the deception that I can handle my own problems. The other is the deception that nobody can handle my problems. To put it another way, there are two ways for the pride of man to dishonour Christ. One is to feel no need for Him, and the other is to feel your need is so great He can’t meet it. The one says I don’t need a crucified Christ to help me. The other says a crucified Christ can’t help me. The one looks strong. The other looks weak, but both are demeaning to the grace of God.
Grace always means these two things: humility, we do need help; and encouragement, the help is there.