September 26, 2011

Haughty Eyes

Proverbs 16:18-20

Haughty eyes and a proud heart … produce sin.
Proverbs 21:4


Proverbs has a lot to say about eyes, and it links them here to a proud heart. “Haughty eyes,” says the writer, “produce sin.” So if you want wisdom, you don’t want haughty eyes.

The word haughty comes from an old Anglo-French word, haut, which means “high,” and which comes from the Latin word altus, from which we get our word altitude. Putting all that together, we find that haughty eyes are the kind of eyes that look down at other people, as if the one looking down is “higher up” than others.

At the heart of this again is the problem of comparing—we don’t just look down, we look down at other people as if they are lower or lesser than we are.

Somehow we feel we need to prove that we are worth something, if for no other reason than to make sure we can identify someone who is worth less than we are. But, of course, that’s foolish. It leads to hurting others as well as ourselves.

God says, “Don’t look down, look up. You are so worthwhile to me that I gave my Son so that I could have you for my children.” God doesn’t do this with haughty eyes; he does it with eyes of love. Our desperate need became his loving opportunity. Wisdom means we want to do the same with others because we have seen that look of love from God in Christ.

Thank you, Father, for your love, which reaches out to me in my need. Please help me to see others with your eyes of love, and to share your love with them. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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