Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Proverbs 16:18-33 (ESV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. 20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. 21 The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. 22 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. 25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26 A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on. 27 A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. 28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. 29 A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. 30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass. 31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. 32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Verse 18, “pride comes before the fall,” might be one of the most famous maxims in the book of Proverbs. We hear it repeated often because pride in ourselves, belief that we can make it on our own or save ourselves, is at the heart of our broken relationship with God. We also see it destroy relationships, bring down politicians and successful men and women on an almost daily basis. Verses 20-23 offer an important way to fight pride: listening to wisdom from others! We should heed instructions, discern gracious words, and be prudent in our hearts and with our words. If you are not prudent with your words, then you cannot listen, and if you do not listen, you become proud and foolish. Is there something in your life that you need to be prudent about, wait and listen before acting? As verse 32 says, it is better to be patient and self-controlled than aggressive and destructive.