Before his downfall a person’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 18:12, CSB
It is better to be humble in failure than proud in success.
Solomon was not the best man in the world but he was one of the most intelligent. Proverbs 18:12 is a spiritual law. Anytime we get proud, we are in for a fall and this is not a generality, it is a law. Pride by it’s very nature is deceitful. Pride is the only disease that when you have it, every one knows except you. It is the most subtle of all sins. I have made statements that at the time, I was confident that I was correct only to find out later that what I spoke was motivated by my pride. It has been such a problem with me that I have learned to thank God for failure. I don’t like to fail at any thing; failure is humiliating but God always uses that for good. He graciously gives me enough success to keep me going but also enough failure to humble me. Praise God for those thorns in the flesh. Praise Him for problems. Praise him for the critic who take a shot at me every opportunity they get. God uses all of this to help me have the right attitude. I manage problems and failure better than I do success. I remember hearing Bill Stafford tell about the man who joined his prayer group: it was a James 5:16 group where you confess and then pray. The fellow confession began like this...I use to have a problem with pride...I can just here Bill say, “Fellow, you still have a problem with pride.” We all do. Pride is rooted deeply in our fleshly nature and we will have to battle it for the rest of our lives.
Some years ago I was teaching a Winter Bible Study on the other side of the county. It was a Sunday night and I taught for an hour and then I preached during the worship service. I had unusual liberty in the sermon. It was as if the Holy Spirit was using me as a P.A. system. I am always nervous away from Danville but that night, there was no tension just a moving of the Spirit. I said things I didn’t even know I knew. I can’t lie, I was impressed but the problem is; I was impressed with me. As I was driving home after the service and I had a prideful thought; it went something like this...”boy, you did great tonight, that was some more service.” Not much further down the road, the LORD said, “Let’s see how great you do tomorrow night.” Oops, I had messed up big time and I knew it. I went to repenting but it was too late. Sure enough, the next night was a disaster. I felt like I aged 5 years in two hours. Pride scares me. When I read Proverbs 18:12 from the CSB, fright shot through my entire body. I have learned to rebuke prideful thoughts immediately and beg for forgiveness right then. You can doubt this law if you want but not me: I am a firm believer. Jesus had to be God: He never failed and yet He was perfectly humble.
- Every year I think, this cannot be happening and every year it happens. I had a speaking engagement last night and by the time I got to Danville the FORTE was practically full and things were already on tables. The campus looked like a ant hill with workers every where. Wow! Way to go guys! An A+ for THURSDAY NIGHT.
- I really like the T-shirts. Good job team!