What Does the Bible Say about Haughty Eyes and Proud Hearts?
- Clarence L. Haynes Jr. Contributing Writer
- 2021 30 Jun
“Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.” - Proverbs 21:4 (NLT)
There are certain words in the English language that when you hear them, the word creates a vivid image of what it means. I believe haughty is one of those words. When I think of this word, I think of a person strutting with their nose in the air because they believe they are better than everyone else. It reminds me of the phrase, “proud as a peacock.” The Bible has a lot to say about haughty eyes and proud hearts. I want to highlight some of these verses so we can examine the challenge that haughty eyes and a proud heart can bring.
What Does the Bible Say about Haughty Eyes and Proud Hearts?
According to Merriam-Webster here is what haughty means: 'blatantly and disdainfully proud: having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior.'
As I told you before, the word really speaks for itself and creates the proper imagery. The challenges of a proud heart and haughty eyes are they come with consequences. I know we may not always want to admit it but if we are going to be honest, this has the potential to affect all of us. There are moments where we can struggle with haughty eyes or proud hearts. This can pop up in how we see others or how we see ourselves. It can also be seen in our stubbornness, for example not wanting to admit you were wrong or being able to say I’m sorry. These can all be indicators that you are infected with a proud heart. When you see what the Bible says about haughty eyes and a proud heart you will understand why you don’t want this to linger inside of you.
Here Are 5 Things the Bible Tells Us about Haughty Eyes and a Proud Heart
1. God hates it.
“There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,” - Proverbs 6:16-17
The first thing I want to highlight about haughty eyes is that God hates them. Do we even need any other reason than that to run from pride? I want you to understand how strong a statement that is. This is something that God detests, that God loathes, that God abhors. This gets God’s attention placed on you but not in the way you would want. If you choose to operate with haughty eyes you are choosing something God hates.
2. God is against you.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:6
The word opposes means that God is hostile towards you and will resist you if you are proud. It can literally mean that God will set himself up against you. (Good luck with overcoming that one and winning that battle.) From the very moment you begin operating with a proud heart, God immediately sets himself up against you. By the way, God does this to hopefully save you and not to harm you.
3. God will not hear you.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’” – Luke 18:9-13
Notice who Jesus was talking to before he told the story, all those who were confident in their own righteousness and those who looked down on others. What does that sound like? It sure sounds like haughty eyes to me. Imagine this man went to pray and all he really did was throw empty words into the air. His words had no impact and did not move God’s heart. The prayer prayed in arrogance is a prayer that God will not hear. You are simply wasting your breath. This man’s pride positioned himself to experience the humbling of God because he will humble every person who lifts themselves up. Pride will get in the way of God hearing your prayers so make sure you remove it from your heart.
“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me];” - Psalm 66:18 (AMP)
4. You are positioned for disgrace and destruction.
As you read these verses focus on the dire consequences that the Bible says are the result of haughty eyes and a proud heart.
- “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2
- “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
- “Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” – Proverbs 18:12
- “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23
Look at all these words: disgrace, destruction, downfall, being brought low. They are all connected to haughty eyes and a proud heart. The interesting thing about haughty eyes is you see yourself as one way and you often miss the peril that you are in. This is one of the dangers of pride and it leads to the fifth consequence of a prideful heart.
5. You are deceived.
“The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks
and make your home on the heights,
you who say to yourself,
Who can bring me down to the ground?’
Though you soar like the eagle
and make your nest among the stars,
from there I will bring you down,”
declares the Lord.” – Obadiah 1:3-4
There is a deceptive aspect of a proud heart and haughty eyes. You believe you are greater than you are, smarter than you are, better than you are, safer than you are, and more well off than you are. The arrogance of the heart causes an inflated opinion of yourself causing you to see yourself in the wrong light. People with proud hearts also miss God because they simply forget how much they need him. Let’s make sure we don’t become that person.
The Remedy for Haughty Eyes and a Proud Heart
There is something we often forget about pride, it’s that haughty eyes are what wrecked heaven. It was Lucifer’s arrogance that thought he deserved to be the one seated on the throne. That did not end so well for Lucifer. Any time we act with a proud heart we are acting like Satan himself. Maybe this is why God hates it so much. The simple truth about haughty eyes and a proud heart is either you will humble yourself or God will do it for you. I am quite sure you would agree that it is a lot better when you humble yourself. The best way to do that is to always view yourself and others in the right perspective. Let these two verses be a reminder of how to keep pride out of our hearts.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” – Romans 12:3
Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].
“Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]” – Philippians 2:3-5 (AMPC)
The remedy for haughty eyes and a proud heart is to remember who you are and remember who Jesus is and imitate him. If you will take on the same attitude that Jesus did there will be no room for haughty eyes and a proud heart.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Khosrork
Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.
This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture's context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.
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