Pride and Deception

Solomon’s fatherly advice to his son begins with a focus on parts of the body, starting from the head and working down: eyes, tongue, hands, heart, and feet. Today, we take it from the top.

  1. Haughty eyes

As the old saying goes, “The eyes are a window to the soul.” Did you know that five facial muscles are dedicated to each eye? Those ten muscles serve no other purpose than to express emotion around the eyes. The eyes themselves also help convey so many of our unspoken feelings or attitudes. Eyes can signal anger, impatience, sorrow, sarcasm, guilt, and especially pride. Naturally, it’s this last trait that God finds “abominable.”

The Hebrew word for “abomination” refers to anything that God finds personally disgusting. Something that is abominable to God offends His character, and He takes particular exception to it. So what does He find detestable? A “haughty” attitude. The Hebrew means “to be high or elevated,” conveying the idea of placing oneself above others, in a position of superiority, and then looking down on them.

God finds this attitude completely absurd. Our universe is measured by eons and light-years so, to the God who created it all, a person standing six feet tall may as well be six millimeters in height. From the vantage point of heaven, the idea of one puny creature looking down on another is laughably repugnant.

Let us all pray, “Lord, reveal to me any hidden arrogance and remove it immediately!”

  1. A lying tongue

Elsewhere in the book of Proverbs, the sages wrote,

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal faithfully are His delight. (12:22)

Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool,
Much less are lying lips to a prince. (17:7)

Lying takes three primary forms. The first kind is a falsehood about the past: it attempts to recast history in a more favorable light. Not all lies are big and bold. Half-truths and exaggerations definitely qualify as lies. One can also put a spin on past events to highlight favorable details and minimize facts the liar wants overlooked.

The second kind of lie misrepresents the present. Flattery falls into this category. So does insincerity, seduction, or any other attempt to change someone’s perception for the purpose of personal gain. Pride also belongs in this grouping, for it is a form of self-deception.

The third lie concerns the future and can take the form of false promises, empty commitments, and signing a contract in bad faith. This kind of lie casts a vision one knows will never transpire.

Because God is truth, lying cannot be more antithetical to His nature. Deception, therefore, is the chief weapon of Satan, the enemy of God and humanity. To lie is to imitate the devil!

Let us pray, “Lord, alert me to the destructive force of my tongue. Keep me from every form of lying!”

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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