Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30th – Proverbs 30: Exalt Not Thyself!

"If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!” – Proverbs 30:32

This Proverb tells us that it is foolish to exalt ourselves. The word for exalt means to: lift, to hold up. So if we find ourselves lifting and holding up our lives, exalting ourselves we are to quickly put a hand over our mouth and STOP! In an increasingly self-centered and self-aware society, self-exaltation is becoming the norm. Our insatiable need for affirmation has given us license to praise ourselves! Our culture has decided that this is an acceptable practice, but the Bible tells us a different story:

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” – Proverbs 27:2

It’s simply not prudent and not humble to exalt or praise yourself, even if you are amazing! It’s the price of greatness. You can be great; you just have to let other people recognize this. We’re all happy that you did a good job at whatever it is you do, you don’t have to tell us how awesome you are. I’ve known people like this and you probably do to; they are a legend in their own mind! Few things are as off-putting as someone who is enamored with themselves.

But there is another very real consequence to exalting yourself:

“Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman.” – Proverbs 25:6,7

It’s just the nature of things, when you exalt yourself; the only direction left to go is down. Likewise, when you humble yourself, the only direction you can go is up!  We’re promised in the Word of God that if we humble ourselves we WILL be exalted, but if we exalt ourselves we WILL be humbled!

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

I love that the Bible tells us the antidote when we find ourselves praising ourselves. “Clap your hand over your mouth!” When our tongue rages out of control we should take matters into our own hands and SHUT IT UP! This is because the tongue is a CRAZY thing and we need Divine help to keep it under control:

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” – James 3:7,8

If you REALLY are awesome, others will recognize it; you don’t have to advertise yourself.

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