READING: Proverbs 27-29
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.”
Pride is such a subtle temptation that I suspect we often miss it. For example, simply assuming that tomorrow will be here can be arrogant. The Bible does not preclude our wise planning for the future, but living as if tomorrow were guaranteed inadvertently places us in the position of God. When we simply assume that tomorrow will be here, we too often: put off reconciling relationships; grieve our sin too little; delay following God’s will; fail to evangelize this day; etc. We wrongly think we’re in charge of our tomorrows, but the writer of Proverbs was right that we “do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1). Only God knows what tomorrow will bring – and we are not He. Humility is our only option.
Likewise, we must not boast about ourselves; in the words of Proverbs, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2). Just as it is wrong to assert one’s knowledge of tomorrow, it’s equally wrong to brag about one’s abilities and talents. Self-praise should have little room in the life of Christ-followers who must point away from themselves to Him; any praise should not come from our own lips. Constant monitoring of our heart is in order, our being ever aware of even the most subtle ways we magnify ourselves by dropping hints of our achievements and successes. Again, humility must mark our lives.
It is indeed the case that “one's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor” (Prov. 29:23). The problem is that many of us learn that first truth the hard way.
- Ask God to show you any pride issues in your life. Confess them and repent.
- Be aware of any temptation to tell others about your achievements today.
PRAYER: “God, I’m susceptible to living for myself and bragging about myself. Forgive me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ecclesiastes 1-6