The Norman Transcript

Religion

January 23, 2014

Does Proverbs 16:5 reach to self-esteem?

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Our view is that this verse is found in a book dedicated to teaching the young people of Israel how to appropriately live in their society, a close-knit agrarian community.

In Israelite society to be proud is to be arrogant, to think oneself above one’s neighbors; certainly that would create strife in the community. Secondly, to be proud is to approach God without proper humility.

Israelites could have self-confidence but the confidence was to be found in the strength of the Lord. An example of such confidence is found in Psalm 18 that declares, “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies.”

It is quite alright to be self-confident; just know that the self is dependent upon God. It is good to have warm feelings after having done a good deed, but know that the real praise belongs to the Lord who has enabled you to do the deed.

To send questions to The Star’s writers, write faith@kcstar.com.

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