Haughty or Humble Spirit
25 November 2018 AM – Proverbs 16:18-19 – Our Spirit – Scott Childs
Introduction: Last week’s sermon was about ruling our spirit. The verses we studied touched on the spirit of anger. The Bible addresses many other kinds of spirits, both good and bad. In our text today, God had Solomon contrast for us the haughty spirit and the humble spirit. These types of spirits are as opposite as the poles of a magnet. They are as different as night and day or light and darkness. Proverbs 16:18-19
Transition: In these verses, God speaks His mind about the haughty spirit and the humble spirit and identifies two more reasons we must rule our spirit.
The first reason we must rule our spirit is because …
1. An unruled haughty spirit leads to a fall (v.18)
a. Note the character of a haughty spirit
1) It is directly linked with pride in this verse.
a) Pride is self-exaltation or self-elevation.
b) Haughty also refers to height or exaltation.
c) Haughtiness displays a superiority over others. It is a desired to be praised. It is announcing our achievements or proclaiming our own worth and right to honour and respect. It is closely associated with selfishness.
d) Criticizing and thinking or saying “I would do it better than that” is a sign of pride.
2) God hates pride because it competes with His rightful praise. Pride and haughtiness cry out, “Look what I did! Give me praise!” God is the Creator and sustainer of all things. Without Him, we have no abilities.
a) (Psalms 127:1) “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
b) (Proverbs 21:30) “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.”
3) Proud Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon learned this lesson after God caused him to lose his mind for seven years. (Daniel 4:34-35) “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:37) “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
b. Note the consequences of a haughty spirit
1) It precedes destruction or a fall (read text).
a) Destruction refers to a crash or ruin.
b) The word fall refers to a stumbling or a calamity.
c) What is God saying? He is saying that pride and haughtiness always leads to ruin and calamity. (Proverbs 18:12) “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”
2) The Bible is full of examples of the consequences of pride and haughtiness. A few examples include:
a) Lucifer – the chief angel in heaven – became proud and he lost everything (Isa 14:12-14).
b) Goliath – the Philistine giant who proudly cursed God and Israel – was killed by a shepherd boy.
c) Belshazzar – the proud king of Babylon – lost his life the night he proudly mocked God (Dan 5)
d) Haman – the proud prince in Persia in the days of Esther – lost his life due to his pride.
3) The haughty pride is still causing falls and ruin today.
a) It keeps people from fearing God. (Proverbs 8:13) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proud people cannot fear God.
b) Countless marriages have been destroyed because the couple was too proud to deal with their failures.
c) Pride often pulls people into dishonesty and corruption in order to reach their goals.
d) Pride prevents revival in Christian’s lives. We see this in principle from God’s words to Israel. (2 Chronicles 7:14) “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
e) Pride will keep millions from repenting of their evil deeds and trusting Christ to save their souls.
c. The cure to a haughty spirit is to rule your spirit
Last week we identified seven steps to ruling your spirit. We must use them to cure a haughty spirit.
1) Identify the problem
2) Admit the need to change
3) Put off the band and replace with good
4) Establish accountability
5) Pray for victory daily
6) Confess all failures and seek forgiveness
7) Never give up. Rebuild your wall of protection.
The second reason we must rule our spirit is because …
2. A ruled humble spirit is blessed of God (v.19)
a. Note the character of a humble spirit
1) The word humble simply means low or lowly.
2) A humble spirit is one that is low rather than lifted high in pride.
3) What does a humble spirit look like?
a) A humble spirit does not seek praise; it does its best because it is the right thing to do.
b) It does not demand respect; it lives a life that earns respect.
c) A humble spirit does not seek to be in the spotlight.
d) A humble spirit is willing to do the dirty tasks that seem below its status.
e) It depends daily on God and gives God all the glory.
b. Note the contrast of a humble and proud spirit
1) First, God describes a lowly person with a humble spirit. The word lowly describes one who is poor or needy. In this example, the poor person was humble.
2) Second, God describes a wealthy person with a proud spirit. The wealthy person here is among those who divide the spoil. They had conquered a city and the spoil is all the riches they find to carry away for themselves. Here they boast of their great victory!
c. Note God’s conclusion about a humble spirit
1) God says it is far better to be poor and humble than to have an abundance and be proud. That is not what people today are saying, but God is absolutely right!
2) God repeats this conclusion frequently in the Bible.
a) (Proverbs 29:23) “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
b) (Matthew 18:4) “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
c) (James 4:10) “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
d) (1 Peter 5:6) “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
Conclusion: God has shared His mind with us about the haughty spirit and the humble spirit. He identified two more reasons we must rule our spirit: 1) An unruled haughty spirit leads to a fall. 2) A ruled humble spirit is blessed of God. No one in his right mind wants his life to end in a ruinous fall. Don’t let pride keep you from fearing God. Don’t let it destroy your marriage. Don’t let it keep you from revival. If you are not yet saved, don’t let pride keep you from repenting of your sin and trusting Christ. Hell is full of proud people who now regret it.
When pride rears its ugly head in your spirit, with God’s help identify it, admit the need to change, replace pride with praise for God and for others, pray for victory over pride every day and confess it every time you act in pride.
It is far better to be poor and humble than to have an abundance and be proud.
Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388