There are two verses that really stand out from this chapter as we near the end of our time in Proverbs.
One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (23, ESV)
Honor is something that all of us desire in some way. It can come in the forms of being loved, praised, acknowledged, cared for, appreciated, etc. But this verse is paradoxical to what many of us believe will bring us honor. Much of the honor we desire is based on what other people can give us; it’s focused on self. This verse teaches us that true honor does not come when we are focused on our self, but when we shift the focus away from ourself. What then should we do? Seek to magnify God and minimize self.
The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. (25, ESV)
Throughout the book of Proverbs, you see this word “fear” thrown around, most notably in Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10. We are repeatedly commanded to fear God, and this verse shows us one of the main hindrances to fearing God, which is fearing man instead of God. Fearing man essentially means that you live for the approval of others. Fearing God on the other hand means that you live in the freedom of self-forgetfulness, which leads you to trust that God is enough. I love what the 2nd half of this verse says: “whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Fearing God means trusting Him instead of yourself. (Note: a great resource if this is a struggle for you is a book called When People Are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch. It’s helped me immensely in fighting fear of man.)
What are you trusting in? Do you notice the correlation between pride and fearing man, and humility and fearing God?
In the comments, share something that God taught you through His Word.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice