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The Crux

Unraveling the Wisdom of Proverbs 13:10

Discover the profound meaning behind Proverbs 13:10 and learn to apply its wisdom in daily life.

Introduction to Proverbs 13:10

Personally, I can attest to the spiritual truth wrapped up in Proverbs 13:10. Arrogance does indeed lead to strife. Here's the text of this verse in its full:

Arrogance leads only to strife, but wisdom is with the well-advised.

What is arrogance?

We commonly think of arrogance as an attitude of thinking more highly of oneself that one deserves, but that's a bit too vague for my taste. And I don't think it gets to the heart of what Proverbs 13:10 is all about. Merriam-Webster defines it this way:

an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

In other words, arrogance is an attitude toward others characterized by

  • Feelings of superiority

  • Overbearing demeanor

  • And making claims about oneself that cross the boundaries of propriety and may be even exaggerated

That's quite a lot to unpack, but how does arrogance lead to strife? In what ways does arrogance produce strife?

The Meaning of Proverbs 13:10

Strife, according to Merriam-Webster again, is bitter dissension or a struggle for superiority.

Image credit: Pixabay

Given these definitions, it's not hard to imagine how arrogance leads to strife. An individual who considers himself better than others and flaunts it is certainly looking to stir up trouble. The attitude itself not only causes strife but is the center of it. Even if one can back up one's claims of superiority, which is seldom the case, throwing that in other people's faces will inevitably put them on their heels with their backs in the air. No one wants to be "beat down."

The back half of Proverbs 13:10 sheds a little more light on arrogance and strife with an apt comparison. A contrast if you will.

Instead of arrogance, the man or woman who wishes to succeed in developing peaceful relations with others must exercise wisdom, which is best ascertained through wise counsel. The arrogant prefer to do things on their own, or take full credit for having done so. The wise, however, do not mind asking for advice and are willing to share the credit.

Application in Everyday Life

Proverbs 13:10 is one of those verses with a universal application. One need not believe in Jesus or attend regular worship services to put it into practice. Whether in business, the arts, socializing at the country club, kicking it with the buds on the street corner, or competing in an international sports contest, no one wants to be confronted with another individual's high opinion of himself. On the other hand, we love to be included, and what better way is there of including others in one's plans than by asking for their input?

That doesn't mean that one must use all the advice one receives. There is such a thing as bad advice. But asking for it is a great way to get others on your side. It can turn rivals into friends.

There are a number of ways this can play out in real life in the 21st century. It is applicable in the real world of brick and mortar as well as the virtual world of bits and bytes. Rather than lord yourself of others in an attempt to bolster your image in their eyes, why not crowdsource your next project by seeking the input of others and giving them credit when one of their ideas outdoes your own? Not only could you make new friends, you could put a lot of strife out of work before it wakes up in the morning.

Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King.

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#proverbs#arrogance#wisdom#strife#spiritual truth#relationships#crowdsourcing#jesus#friends#rivals
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