Today you should read: Proverbs 29
Real Life Humility . . .
What a packed chapter! There are so many instructions. It is tough to digest all of these instructions, while trying to see how they all fit together. But that is a good exercise while reading Scripture. It seems as if two ideas really color the whole chapter. The first is the idea of discipline and corrective rebuke. The second is the idea of righteousness versus unrighteousness. It seems as if the whole chapter is filled with contradicting statements, which show good vs. bad, or godly vs. evil.
This is a good way to look at character issues, as often dealt with in Proverbs, because it shows you not only how to act, but how not to act. With all of these contradictory statements, which are all so applicable, I want to land on verse 23, with the idea of pride vs. humility. It says, “one’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” (ESV).
True humility. I wonder if we really know what it means to be humble anymore. It seems like humility is “out of style.” It seems that in any school, any job, any ministry, any friendship, any relationship, or any marriage, humility will just get you trampled on, while a prideful confidence and boasting will get you respect and recognition. It doesn’t matter who you are or how humble you “act,” the temptation to “not be humble” is ever present.
Why be humble? I mean, what is the point? If you don’t brag about your accomplishments, then how will you get recognition? If you don’t act prideful while in the presence of the rest of your friends, then you will just get taken advantage of and people will take shots at you. What’s the point of laying my life down and serving people if they never even notice?
If we are honest, all of us feel this. So, what is the answer? What is the purpose of humility? It may be out of style with the world, but it is certainly not out of style with the Lord. He places a high value on it. Verse 23 in this chapter says, “one who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” Honor from whom? Is it from our friends and people around us? Well maybe. But the truth is that we will obtain honor from the Lord. God says “this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66.2). This is big! You want to be noticed? Well, you will be noticed by God IF you are humble. Truly humble. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Do you believe this? Do you value God’s recognition more than man’s recognition? Then practice humility. God will reward what is done in secret.
For a practical application in how to grow in humility, I challenge you to memorize Philippians 2:3-11. Put this verse in your heart and let it take root. It will change you and bring about true humility.
Posted by: Sam Cirrincione