Earthly wisdom tells us that we are due to receive honor by others; it’s our just right. In many different ways today that’s a lot of the noise we hear — people clamoring to be heard and respected. The problem is all want to be respected but they aren’t respecting others, and more importantly they aren’t respecting the one true God. God’s wisdom tells us that before we can receive honor, we must be humble. “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (Prov 15:33)
When we submit to God and give Him the rightful place in our lives, it’s like we enroll in the school of wisdom. Our classes on how to be wise have just begun. We cannot fear God with pride in our lives. If we want wisdom and the honor that comes with wisdom, we must humble ourselves before the Lord. Not only does pride keep us from fearing God, but also it keeps us from gaining wisdom. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Prov 29:23)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:3) To be poor in spirit is to recognize our utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. It is understanding that we have absolutely nothing of worth to offer God. Being poor in spirit is admitting that, because of our sin, we are completely destitute spiritually and can do nothing to deliver ourselves. Jesus is saying that, no matter our status in life, we must recognize our spiritual poverty before we can come to God in faith to receive the salvation He offers.
Throughout Scripture the message of recognizing we aren’t “all that” is repeated. Instead we are told to humble ourselves before God in order to receive His salvation and wisdom. Here are a few to ponder. Do you have any favorites to share?
- “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” (Prov 11:2)
- “The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.” (Prov 3:35)
- “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (Prov 12:15)
- “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet 5:6).
- “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matt 23:12)
Dear Lord, I am coming to realize how dangerous pride is in the life of a believer and how important true, godly humility is to Your heart. As I read in Your word that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall, I see the devastating and destructive nature of pride and the true blessing that comes from a heart that is humble and contrite in spirit.
Lord, keep me from falling prey to the many temptations that pride seems to scatter in my path, where I want to be the center of attention and desire to receive acclaim. Lord, remind me that all glory rightly belongs only to You. Teach me Your ways and show me how I may clothe myself in godly humility. Your Word teaches that You oppose the proud but show grace to the humble. Thank You for opening up Your Word to me and helping me to see the beautiful truth about humility. I ask that You would work a good work in my life day by day, until I am more like Christ and less like me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.