LOVE IS NOT PROUD

I Corinthians 13:5

Last year, I taught a class in Bible study about pride and peacocks.  If you were in that class, I hope you don’t mind thinking about it again.

One of the illustrations I used was to research the beautiful peafowl and compare the differences in their attitudes from humans.

Humanity has a lot of things in common with peafowls.  We strut our stuff when we are proud.  We may puff up and speak up and stand up in ways that may not be as attractive as we think they are.

On the other hand, if we can limit ourselves to an attitude of humility, we may not be as ostentatious, but we may have more friends.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

PEACOCK PROUD

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

PEACOCK HUMBLE

PRIDE

SYNONYMS – Haughty; arrogant; lofty; scornful; contemptuous; sneering; scoffing; scornful; conceited; puffed up; egotistical; self-satisfied; vain; disdainful.

ANTONYMS – Humble; meek; lowly; modest; unassuming; submissive; polite; (but not self-deprecating).

(Not under discussion are occasions when PROUD is sometimes used innocently for “highly pleased with,” as in proud of child’s accomplishments; proud for you to receive such an honor; etc.).

CHARACTERISTICS OF A PROUD PERSON (AS DESCRIBED IN SCRIPTURE). 

  1. No room for God in their thoughts.
  2. Confident in their own strength and ability. (Think they are bulletproof).
  3. Think they know it all; refuse to take advice; judgmental.

Cannot or will not see own weaknesses, cannot or will not admit fault; cannot or will not apologize.

PSALMS [1]

“In his pride the wicked does not seek [the Lord]; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  His ways are always prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his enemies.  He says to himself, ‘Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble.’”  (10:4-6)

“Love the Lord, all his saints!  The Lord preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.”  (31:23)

“….whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.”  (101:5b)

“You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from your commands.  Remove from me scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.”  (119:21, 22)

“Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”  (138:6)

PROVERBS

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”  (6:16-18)

[Wisdom] speaking:  “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”  (8:13)

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”  (11:2)

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”  (13:10)

“The Lord detests all the proud of heart.   Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.”  (16:5)

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  (16:18)

“Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!”  (21:4)

“The proud and arrogant man — “Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.”  (21:24)

“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.”  (29:23)

OTHER SCRIPTURE

“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), …..The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,”  (Isaiah 2:12, 17)

“Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.”  (Romans 12:16)

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted……If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  (Gal. 6:1, 3)

 “….All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”  (1 Peter 5:5, 6)

And the ultimate scripture is Philippians 2:5-11:

5″In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Interesting Peacock Facts

  1. Male peafowl is called peacock while female is called peahen.
  2. They are one of the largest flying birds.
  3. Their length (including tail) can reach 5 feet.
  4. Most people use term “peacock” to describe both male and female birds, but peacock is actually a name that refers only to male peafowl.
  5. Peafowl belong to pheasant family. These birds are native to Asia.
  6. There are two species of peafowl: Indian Peafowl and Green Peafowl. Both types are endangered because of the habitat loss, smuggling and predators.
  7. They are one of the largest flying birds. Their length (including tail) can reach 5 feet. They can weigh between 8-13 pounds.
  8. They are omnivores (eat both plants and animals). They like to eat insects, arthropods, amphibians, flowers, seeds…
  9. Their main predators are tigers, leopards, mongoose… When they sense a danger, they fly and hide in the trees. They spend nights on trees for the same reason.
  10. Family of peafowl is called “bevy.”
  11. Group of peafowl is called “party.”
  12. Beautiful and colorful tails are characteristic only for the males.
  13. Colors of the tail will look different every time you change the angle of looking because of the reflection of the light. Tail feathers have eye-like spots, surrounded with red, green, gold and red feathers.
  14. Tail makes 60% of peacock’s total length.
  15. Peahen chooses its partner by the length, width and coloration of the tail.
  16. Peacocks are polygamous (mate with more than one female) and usually form a harem that consists of 2-5 females. Left alone, peacocks are very sad and heart-broken.
  17. Although very beautiful, peacocks produce unpleasant sounds.
  18. Females lay 3-5 eggs. Young birds will hatch after 28 days.
  19. One day old baby peafowl can walk, eat and drink without assistance.
  20. Peafowl live up to 20 years both in the wild and in the captivity.

 

[1] Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.”