Solomon contrasts pride and humility in several snippets of this proverb. He says that “pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Are most of your relationships contentious in some way? If so, could this not be the reason. We never want to admit a problem with pride, but quite honestly, most of us struggle with it to some extent. If your marital relationship is more quarrelsome and less wholesome and encouraging, then pride could be the great issue. If your work relationships trend towards argumentative without ever accomplishing much, then pride might be the issue. If you cannot keep friends or do not have a best friend, then pride could be the problem. When we humble ourselves and listen to those around us, we suddenly begin to hear their ideas and learn from them. Sometimes, that means completely scrapping your ideas and sometimes it means you mix ideas to find the perfect next step. Humility opens the doors for cooperation and helps us experience the best in life. Prides steals those opportunities because it will not listen or learn from another person. It has to be right and has to get its way, or arguments are guaranteed to happen. If we apply this principle to our relationship with God, we find that pride closes our ears to His voice, but humility seeks God’s will above our own. One area that might affect most is how we raise our children. Solomon reminds us that “he who spares the rod hates his son.” God has given us clear steps to take when our children disobey. He never gives an excuse to emotionally or physically abuse our children, but He does teach us the importance of discipline. Pride thinks it knows all the answers and does not need God’s input; humility seeks God’s will and then applies it to every relationship.

Help me, Lord, to walk in humility and to enjoy listening to Your voice throughout the day. Help me to love my children enough to discipline them while they are in my home and under my care.