Proverbs 29:23

ESV One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
NIV Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
NASB A person’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.
CSB A person's pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.
NLT Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
KJV A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

What does Proverbs 29:23 mean?

The prior lesson identified wrath—meaning an uncontrolled temper—as sinful (Proverbs 29:22). This verse identifies pride as another sin (Proverbs 6:16–19) and predicts its consequences. Eventually, those who act with arrogance will be humiliated. Humility brings honor (Proverbs 11:2). The world may reward ungodly attitudes, briefly (Psalm 73:2–3). But those who ignore God's wisdom and will (Proverbs 1:7) set themselves up for catastrophe (Proverbs 8:32–36; 16:4). Other comments in the book of Proverbs make the same basic point (Proverbs 16:18; 18:12).

Scripture records the lives of two men named Saul. Their experiences illustrate these truths. Saul of the Old Testament became a proud king. Although he was little in his own eyes when he began his reign, he became arrogant. He failed to obey the Lord, and he took matters into his own hands. He died a shrinking, fearful death at his own hands (1 Samuel 31:4–5). The New Testament Saul became the apostle, most often referred to by the Greek version of his name, Paul. Before believing in Jesus (Acts 9:1–9), he was a proud Pharisee with a flawless religious pedigree. However, when he became a believer, he renounced his credentials and humbly served the Lord (Philippians 3:4–9). At the end of his life, he anticipated receiving a crown from the Lord (2 Timothy 4:7–8).

The Old Testament's Saul could not let go of his pride; his story ended in misery and the loss of his earthly crown. The New Testament Saul lost his arrogance, experienced humility, and anticipated a heavenly crown.
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