A devotion on PROVERBS 25 – 8/9/21
Don’t brag about yourself before the king and don’t stand in the place of the great;
for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here!” than to demote you in plain view of a noble. Proverbs 25:6, 7.
“Be completely humble and gentle.”Paul in Ephesians 4:2.
That’s your calling – be COMPLETELY humble and gentle. Fear of God is a great conduit for humbleness. Unfortunately for the soulish man, woman, or child who has little or no fear of God, it takes humiliation to be humbled. God uses life to humble us. As I’ve shared before, “sometimes the best thing for a man is a kick in the teeth,” Walt Disney.
There is no scriptural teaching against others praising or exalting you. The appropriate response in those cases is to give thanks and swiftly turn the glory back to God. We are not to seek out that praise. Self-exaltation is a cultural norm in our day and age and has always been. The unsubmitted soul yearns for it. But it is an enemy that takes away from our eternal glory. The man who is praised for parading his self-righteous works, so as to be seen by men, has received all the reward he will get and robbed himself of the glory God would have awarded him for his work.
Another proverb along this vein is “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men,” Pr. 22:29. Let your diligent work and your hard-earned skill be what exalts you and catches the attention of those in power and authority so as to promote you. This will probably take years. In the meantime, be faithful to work in obscurity and develop the skills you need.
If you are never noticed, know well that your father in heaven sees and notices and he will reward you. Learn to praise and trust him when you are passed up for a promotion or when someone’s lesser work is lauded and yours overlooked. What a perfect way to grow in humility! Remember you live your life before your God, not before men. Do not clamor for attention or approval. Do not grovel or hobnob. Do not brown-nose. In due time, God will exalt you. Your labor is not in vain.
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Jesus in Luke 14:11.