READING: Proverbs 27-29, 2 Corinthians 10
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.”
The lure of pride is so powerful – and so subtle – that it’s difficult not to fall into its trap. In fact, even the most humble people I know confess their struggles with pride. Apparently, none of us defaults into humility, and all of us wrestle without our ego. So, once again, the writer of Proverbs speaks into the reality of our daily lives. Echoing a word about boasting, he first reminds us not to “boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring” (Prov. 27:1). Few of us think much about tomorrow not arriving, and most of us assume the future; however, to do so is to presume upon God’s favor. It’s to assume that we somehow have control over what the future holds. Because only God holds the future in His hands, we deify ourselves when we boast of what we intend to accomplish tomorrow. Only God knows what tomorrow will bring.
Moreover, there is no place for us to boast about ourselves. Any such commendation loses its force when it is we who speak our own praise, “sing our own song,” or write our own accolades. If there is any reason for praise, the writer of Proverbs says, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth” (Prov. 27:2). Indeed, the best person to praise us might even be a “stranger” whose praise is objective and who gains nothing by his compliments. We ourselves have no reason to boast about what we have done in the past, what we are doing in the present, or what we’re planning to do in the future.
It’s so easy, though, to boast. It’s easy to drop the name of a person we know or drop a hint about a success we’ve achieved – and not see either one as arrogant. It’s easy to wonder how others will introduce us, hoping they will be certain to list our titles and accomplishments. There’s a fine, fine line between, “God, please use me for Your glory,” and “God, please let everyone know how You’re using me for Your glory” – so fine, in fact, that many of us cross it regularly in our minds if not with our lips.
Only God is worthy of praise, though, and of Him only should we boast (2 Cor. 10:17). Boast of Him today, recognizing that He alone holds tomorrow in His hands.
- Ask God to help you see your own arrogance. Be open to hearing Him.
- Boast about the Lord alone today. He is worthy.
PRAYER: “Father, if today is all I have, I want to be boasting about You. Help me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Proverbs 30-31, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15