“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10
I see here in God’s Word that “only by pride cometh contention”. I find that means if there is ever contention, pride is the base cause of it.
Webster’s definition of contention is: “strife; struggle; a violent effort to obtain something, or to resist a person, claim or injury; contest; quarrel.” I like to think of it as friction, two different things going against each other to cause a negative reaction.
Life is full of contention. It seems most of the time it’s with family, and other times it’s with friends and other people and things. But when I really look at it, I find that where the most contention is, is in my heart. In fact, that’s where all outward contention starts. With inward contention, and inward contention is caused by pride.
Webster’s definition of pride is: “Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.” And from general observation, I find that pride has a lot to do with “my rights”. I find pretty much all contention is caused when someone or something interferes with “my right to do, act, think, or feel what I want to”.
When I consciously make an effort to note when I am contending with someone, and try to find what the cause is, I always find the contention starting in my heart and pride starting that contention. Even in little things. My little sister asks me to get her some water, and I snap at her (for no apparent reason), and tell her to get someone else to, and that someone else snaps at me asking why I couldn’t get it for her myself. There’s contention, and what caused it? It may have been simply because I didn’t want to, or because I was doing something (it might have even been a good thing, like reading my Bible) and I didn’t want to be interrupted. In other words, the contention was caused by my pride.
I know that it is very easy to spot outward contention, and is also easy to see pride as the base of it. But I have recently become aware that every time I have pride, I have contention. Maybe not outwardly, but in my heart. I as a Christian have the Holy Spirit living and abiding in me, but my flesh (my pride) often gives me problems (contention) in my living the Christian life. Remember what I said about contention reminding me of friction? Two different things (the Holy Spirit and my flesh,) going against each other (what I know is right to think or do and what I want to think or do,) to cause a negative reaction (a troubled, discouraged spirit, or a battle of my will and God’s). I may not even be conscious of pride in my life (Job 33:17 “That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.”), but if I find I am having trouble with discouragement, and having joy in my walk with the Lord (Proverbs 29:23 “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”), I start looking and praying and pretty soon the Lord will show me an area where I’m having problems with pride.
Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long tim ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!