Humility first (Proverbs 15)
Fame and followers.
I’m probably going to sound a little old here but I’ll risk it! Growing up I’m not sure I knew anyone who wanted to be famous. Today being a ‘YouTuber’ or an Instagram ‘influencer’ is a real goal for many. The yardstick for success? Not the quality of the videos necessarily but the number of followers you can amass. In short, your personal fame is the goal.
It’s a strange old world. Apparently we’d like to influence and guide those we’ve never met – and are highly unlikely ever to do so.
Now every new tool of technology can be redeemed in some way – and here I am writing a blog on facebook so there’s that.. I too should be wary of the very dangers that appear here. And dangers there are..
God wants us to live relationally close to others. Not just because community is intrinsically good (though I believe it is) but especially so that someone can know us enough to offer both correction and encouragement in such a way that we will believe them due to the depth of our relational proximity. To put it bluntly, I really have to trust you to let your correction change me.
Here‘s a verse from today’s reading in Proverbs 15 that gets us into the idea:
“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.”
(Proverbs 15:32 NIV11)
To fail to acknowledge discipline and correction is actually an act of treachery against.. yourself! We need to be open to God shaping our character through the wisdom and love of others speaking into our lives. Notice the order here:
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.”
(Proverbs 15:33 NIV11)
It is not fame that we should be seeking as the primary goal but rather humility. And it’s humilty that will allow us to heed the correction of others – the proud simply won’t listen.
Jesus tells us to seek the lowest seat in the banquet that we might be moved up – rather than sitting at the head of the table and find ourselves moved down in humiliation.
James puts it very succinctly here:
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
(James 4:10 NIV11-GK)
And Peter expands this idea in a similar way:
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
(1 Peter 5:5–6 NIV11-GK)
Let’s not get the cart before the horse here. Seeking fame and making ourselves the centre is to make God our enemy. Humility is to come before honour and it is God who will do the honouring. We have a gem of a promise here for the apparently ludicrous act of forgoing our own fame. God is guaranteeing that the lifting up will happen – not necessarily today, not tomorrow – but at a due time which He as sovereign will decide. For many of us I suspect that lifting up will actually be on the final day when we see Him face to face and He says, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
So by all means use your social media, but be a good friend, be ready to be known, and above all be ready to be connected so that God might help us find humility as the first desire of our hearts.
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #wisdom #Proverbs