“Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, than he who honors himself but lacks bread” (Proverbs 12:9). It is better to be slighted, ignored, or a nobody and yet have a servant than to pretend to be a somebody and have nothing to eat. This is a sobering warning about pride and pretentiousness. You can only live on this razor’s edge so long; eventually, you will end up impoverished.
My wife was a bank teller in an affluent township in the San Francisco Bay Area. When customers came through the doors, she often noticed the difference between those who had money and those who didn’t. Customers pulled into the bank parking lot with expensive vehicles, came through the door in designer clothing, and shuffled money around to meet debt obligations. They were barely making it.
Some customers drove into the lot with older vehicles that were still well maintained. They entered with clothing that was clean but not ostentatious. Some even took advantage of the free coffee or mints in the lobby. They came to deposit money in accounts that were burgeoning with millions of dollars.
The former group was pretentious; the latter impoverished. May the Lord help us to understand the difference.