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Briefing: Have you ever known any prideful or arrogant officers or agents? Law enforcement is a job that gives the LEO a certain amount of authority which if misused can lead to arrogance. Have you ever known someone with a “heavy badge”?

Dispatch (Assignment):Can pride be good? What comes to mind when you think of pride? List some synonyms of pride. Read Proverbs 3:5-7.

On the Street: This is a hard statement for me to make and I still have inner struggles with it. There is no such thing as positive pride. All pride is bad. You might say what about when I am proud of my child for an achievement they worked hard for? Are you giving glory to God or the child? Our children are opportunities for us to praise and glory God who gave them abilities and talents. To use an example from another chapter, are we giving glory to the creator or the creation?

The verse I want us to concentrate on is Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

“Lean not on your own understanding” goes real well with the first part of verse 7 (NIV), “Do not be wise in your own eyes”. This can be a difficult thing. Law enforcement officers are problem solvers. We are called to situations where people expect us to fix their problems. If they could do this on their own, they would not call us. We can get pretty good at fixing other people’s problems. We get so good we begin to believe we are the only people on this planet who can fix things. We get prideful and arrogant, wise in our own eyes. This is not a good place to be.

Proverbs 18:12 (NIV) says, “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” If you find yourself in a prideful situation, be careful, your fall is not far behind. Jesus puts it this way, “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this man your seat.” Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

We have to take the attitude of humility instead of pride and arrogance. This has to become a lifestyle. The implications of living a life of humility are far reaching and will have an impact on every aspect of your life. Like most teachings in the Bible, this is contrary to the way society expects you to act.

Proverbs 3:7 (HCSB), “Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

Proverbs 3:27 (HCSB), “When it is in your power, don’t withhold good from the one it belongs to.”

Proverbs 8:12-13 (HCSB), “I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness and have knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.”

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

Proverbs 13:10 (NKJV), “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.”

Proverbs 14:12 (HCSB), “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

Proverbs 15:25 (HCSB), “The Lord destroys the house of the proud, but He protects the widow’s territory.”

Proverbs 16:5 (HCSB), “Everyone with a proud heart is detestable to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 16:18-19 (NIV), “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”

Proverbs 16:25 (HCSB), “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

Proverbs 18:23 (HCSB), “The poor man pleads, but the rich one answers roughly.”

Proverbs 20:1 (HCSB), “Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise.”

Proverbs 21:4 (HCSB), “The lamp that guides the wicked – haughty eyes and an arrogant heart – is sin.”

Proverbs 25:6-8 (NIV), “Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles. What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?”

Proverbs 25:27 (HCSB), “It is not good to eat too much honey or to seek glory after glory.”

Proverbs 26:12 (HCSB), “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Proverbs 27:21 (HCSB), “A crucible for silver, and a smelter for gold, and a man for the words of his praise.”

Proverbs 29:1 (HCSB), “One who becomes stiff-necked, after many reprimands will be shattered instantly, beyond recovery.”

Proverbs 29:23 (NIV), “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”

Proverbs 30:7-14 (NKJV), “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God. Do not malign a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty. There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation, oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”

Investigational Resources: Matthew 5:3, Luke 14:7

Officer Safety Principle: God is the center of the universe, not you and not me. Give glory to the one who deserves it.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!