Proverbs 18:12

Verse of the Week:  Proverbs 18:12  “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”

Encouraging Thought:  Everyone likes to be honored; to receive glory, high respect, and recognition for their individual achievements or contribution to a successful project.  But the accolades of men quickly dissolve, and your achievements are forgotten by all but a very few.  Yet God declares “before honour is humility.”

The Easton Bible Dictionary defines humility as “a prominent Christian grace, which is a state of mind well pleasing to God; it preserves the soul in tranquility, and makes us patient under trials.”

Is there anything more desirous than peace, which equates to a tranquil heart?   I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  To be content is to have peace in your surroundings and circumstances.  That comes with a humble heart and spirit.

Christ, our Lord and Savior, the God of all creation, was our ultimate example in humility.  In Luke 22:27, Jesus said, “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.” 

  • He washed the feet of His disciples, even Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Him.
  • He healed the sick.
  • He raised the dead.
  • He strengthened the weary.
  • He preached the Gospel to the lost.
  • He humbly submitted Himself to the Father’s will. 

Philippians 2:8-10 says, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.   Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.”

Because He lived a humble and obedient life, salvation was made available to all mankind.  His sacrifice should be a continual reminder of our sins.  That reminder is humbling, but it is the way to honor, and God’s greatest promises are given to the humble.  What an incredible paradox God initiated when He declared that humility is the pathway to glory.

Words of Wisdom:   And while humility leads to honor, haughtiness leads to destruction.  Proverbs 18:12 says, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty…”  Haughty means arrogantly self-admiring and disdainful.   Revelation 3:17 says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”   And yet, that’s the attitude and mentality that our society promotes:  self esteem, pride.   It’s all about me and how I view myselfAnd that philosophy leads to haughtiness.

But Paul says in Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

God instructs us to be humble.  Jesus was our example, and He expects us to follow it.  And for those who do, God blesses them greatly.

  • Matthew 18:4 “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
  • James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
  • James 4:6  “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
  • Proverbs 29:23   “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
  • Luke 14:11 “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

To the believer, humility is far more important than self-esteem.  True humility is when we recognize our genuine condition, seeing our wretchedness through the eyes of God.  Without God, we’re contemptible and corrupt.  God wants us to realize that, and until we do, He can’t use us because the opposite of humility is pride.  So if you’re not humble, you’re proud.  And a proud person does things His own way; not God’s. 

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