Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29th – Proverbs 29: Brought Low

“A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” – Proverbs 29:23

Over the years, I have been shocked by how LOW believers can go. You expect the crack heads and degenerates that don’t know Jesus to hit bottom, but rarely do you expect born again Christians to bottom out. Many people come to Jesus when they hit bottom but we’re not supposed to bottom out as Christians! If we do, this Proverb tells us why.

The ONLY reason that we bottom out and “hit the skids’ is because of pride. Pride is that amazing ability to COMPLETELY ignore the facts and be utterly deceived by our own “greatness”. The root word for pride in the Hebrew means; to mount up, to grow up, to rise up, swelling. Think of a loaf of bread rising before baking. That leaven gets in there and releases gas, making the dough rise to two and three times its normal size. But the second you touch it, or “punch it down” it releases the air and goes back to its ACTUAL size.

Pride has the same effect in the life of the believer. A little “leaven” of pride and we swell up like a tick. We’re fooled by our “growth”, barley recognizing that it’s all just hot air. It’s not real growth. Pride brings us LOW. I have known believers to completely bottom out financially, physically, relationally and emotionally. Now, everyone goes through hard times, even good people. But the kind of lowliness I am talking about here is extreme and totally unnecessary. Things like blowing through hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling, getting caught in multiple affairs, wrecking their lives and reputations with alcohol and even going to jail for not paying traffic tickets!

The scriptures say,

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." – James 4:6

Humility is not walking around with your head hanging low or speaking softly. No, humility is being aware of your need for God! When humble people hit a wall (and they do!) instead of try to tackle the impossibility themselves, they call on JESUS for help! Yes, they go to God in prayer, but God answers them THROUGH PEOPLE. Remember, he called us the “Body of Christ”! So they humble themselves to their spouse when they are struggling with lust, averting adulterous disaster. They confess their lack of self-control with drinking to their pastor or friend and GET HELP. Instead of “press through” financial impossibility, humble people ask for wisdom. It’s humbling in the moment, but in the end, it brings honor.

People that humble themselves are honored and people that honor themselves are humbled.

The grace we need to overcome whatever difficulty we’re encountering is only one act of humility away.

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