Proverbs 21:2-5

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Eyes Have It

Humility: Power over Pride

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin! Proverbs 21:4

Have you ever heard the statement, "The eyes are the window to the soul?" I have always wondered who originally uttered this insightful phrase. Most people attribute the statement to William Shakespeare. The Roman philosopher, Cicero said, "The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter." Matthew quoted Jesus as saying that the eyes are the lamp to the body and when healthy the body is full of light but everything is dark when the eyes are bad (Matt. 6:22-23). Regardless of the phrase's origin, it has commonly come to be understood that the nature of a person's heart or soul is reflected in a person's eyes.

The writer of Proverbs hinted at this when he wrote, "Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked are sin!" The word "haughty" comes from an old Anglo-French word, haut, which means, "high." It also comes from the Latin word altus from which we get our word altitude. When we put the concepts 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. It is interesting that in another proverb (Proverbs 6:17), the writer indicates that "haughty eyes" are one of the seven detestable things the Lord hates.