4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.
5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
6 A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
Haughtiness and pride are defects of character, which prevent a person from seeing things as they are. Those with haughty eyes, more commonly known as snobs, assume others to be beneath them. Because they are always looking down on everyone else, they cannot see anything above them. Their outward attitude of condescension hinders their relationships, preventing them from receiving what others have to offer.
While snobbery distorts a person’s view of others, pride distorts a person’s view of himself. The inward attitude of superiority keeps the proud man from dealing with his faults. The proud person is unable to benefit from criticism, incapable of growing in maturity. Haughtiness and pride are like boulders in an unplowed field. Nothing but a hindrance, they are obstacles to the cultivation of anything good. If they are not dealt with, what can be produced but weeds?
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty. A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.” Haste and deceit may lead to short term gain, but in the long term they prove to be counterproductive. The hasty person, looking to get rich quickly, exposes himself to great risk. Even if he makes out well today, what is there to stop him from losing it all tomorrow?
The diligent, however, plan in the long term. They are prudent in their strategies, and patient in their progress. Avoiding unnecessary risk, they accumulate profit consistently – one step at a time. In building their fortunes, they also develop the character necessary to maintain them. This is what the hasty and deceitful lack. Without character, what good is wealth? Poverty and disaster are never far from the indulgent and reckless. Wealth is a catalyst. While it increases the leverage of the wise, it also amplifies the corruption of the wicked.