Honesty and Humility (Proverbs 12:19; 29:23)
Proverbs 12:19, “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
Honesty and truthfulness will produce a long-lasting reputation. However, a lying tongue brings only short-lived benefit. Words of truth, like the Word of God are established forever (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8). And the lips that speak truth will endure and be blessed forever. However, people with lying tongues will not endure but last only for a moment. Whatever advantage which might accrue from lying quickly evaporates as the truth is eventually made known. In contrast, truthfulness and honesty have long-term benefits. Being truthful and honest with others is important in achieving your goals. You may deceive people to get what you want, but you won't keep what you got. Once the word gets out that you are a liar and cheat, you won't get it again. You won't achieve anything except failure. Too often people have burned bridges, ruined their reputation leaving them to change jobs, careers, and locations.
Coming home from work, a woman stopped at the corner deli to buy a chicken for supper. The butcher reached into a barrel, grabbed the last chicken he had, flung it on the scales behind the counter, and told the woman its weight. She thought for a moment. "I really need a bit more chicken than that," she said. "Do you have any larger ones?" Without a word, the butcher put the chicken back into the barrel, groped around as though finding another, pulled the same chicken out, and placed it on the scales. "This chicken weighs one pound more," he announced. The woman pondered her options and then said, "Okay. I'll take them both." He was caught! Honesty and truth show a person with integrity. People with integrity beckon the trust and admiration of people. God demands that we be honest in all of our dealings. With His blessing and favor, what we are able to acquire through honest effort will be enough. Even if you are convinced that no one will ever discover your scheme, God will know. It is far better to live with transparency and honesty. That is how you build a business and good relationships with others.
Proverbs 29:23, “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Human reasoning teaches that the way to success is through self-elevation, but this is a false assumption. Scripture clearly teaches that pride and self-promotion do not exalt people, rather results in dishonor and humiliation. God’s Word declares that the arrogant will be humbled through a painful, disgraceful fall. Those who maintain a humble spirit will be held in high esteem—if not in this life, then in the next (Proverbs 16:18-19). Other than love, humility is the most taught character trait in the New Testament. What does it mean to have a humble attitude? Humility causes you to see yourself from God's viewpoint and acknowledges God's grace and work in your life. Humility gives you an accurate view of yourself. The smaller you become, the more room God has to work in your life. D.L. Moody said, "God will send no one away empty except those who are full of themselves." When we are full of ourselves, we are giving God no room to work within us. Pride prevents you from progress. Humility prepares us to fulfill our purpose. Have you ever chosen to not ask for help just to save face? Pride can prevent us from asking for help and making progress by telling us we are fine to stay in the same place.
Do you have humility? D.L. Moody said, "A man can counterfeit many graces and character traits, but it is difficult to counterfeit humility." One man tried to counterfeit his humility when he said, "Only my great humility keeps me from telling you how truly wonderful I am." Pride always backfires. It deceives one into thinking he is better than he is. It exalts oneself and eventually brings them down. He that exalts himself shall be abased. It is inevitable. In contrast, true humbleness of spirit brings promotion. This leads to success and achieving your goals. The world’s way is to exalt oneself. God’s way is to be humble. It eventually brings promotion.
God will test your humility and whether you have a servant's heart. Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." A true test of servanthood is if I act like one when I am treated like one. A humble person remains the same person in all circumstances: whether you’re put down, exalted, humiliated, or honored. If a person has a humble servant's heart, there will be no limit to what they can accomplish if they are unconcerned with who gets the credit. If you have a humble spirit, it will help you to be teachable, reachable, reasonable, and sensible. Humility leads to honor. God Himself will exalt us throughout eternity if we humbly bow before Him and submit to Him. James taught this same truth. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” The great example of this is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was meek and lowly in heart; yet He is acknowledged by most people to be the greatest man of human history (Matthew 11:29). As believers, we are to walk humbly on this earth. Do you want to be honored? If so, then you need to have humility.
Points to Ponder:
Questions to Consider:
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, renew my mind. Give me a clear understanding of humility, as modeled by Jesus Christ. Jesus restrained His power, and as an ultimate act of strength, He humbled Himself and served. Lord, I admit it, that is hard for me. Help me to understand and help me to do it. If Jesus could get low and serve, so should I. I humble myself before You in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.