We’re working through one proverb per day corresponding to the day of the month. Today we’re in Proverbs 18.
Proverbs 18:12 “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.”
I’ve never noticed it before, but this is the 4-H verse. The proverbs mentions four words that are worth looking at.
Heart- it’s the inner part of a man or woman. I believe it represents the soul of a person. The most important portion of a human that cannot be touched but affects everything.
Haughty- It’s a cuss word. It describes a person who thinks themselves superior, beyond reproach. Haughtiness is never good and nothing good can come from it. ‘Nuff said.
Humility- the antonym of haughtiness. It’s an attitude of “There but for the grace of God go I.” It’s the attitude of gratitude that knows you never do anything by yourself but only stand on the shoulders of others. It’s a “reminder emotion” that our life and future is in God’s hands.
Honor- It’s a position but not a position. i.e. it’s not a job or title but simple recognition for a job well done. It’s the respect for living with integrity. It’s the love given by those you love best- your closest family and friends.
In essence, this proverb describes a person headed to “a train wreck” (destruction) as possessing a haughty spirit.
The second part of this two-part proverb describes that humility precedes honor and this honorable respect is a direct result of a humble life.
One of my heroes is George Washington Carver. Many of my favorite quotes comes from this great humble man. A story is told from his work at Tuskegee Institute where he gained fame for his 47 years of teaching and research.
One afternoon, Dr. Carver was walking home from work when a woman, evidently a throwback to earlier days of antebellum life, called out, “Hey, come in here and cut some stove wood for me.” Dr. Carver took off his coat and was carefully splitting stove wood when a neighbor came to his rescue.
Scolding the woman, the neighbor said, “Don’t you know you’ve asked this famous man to cut your wood?”
George Washington Carver interrupted her. “She asked me to help her and I was more than glad to help.”
That is humilty. The type that brings honor. The type of honor that lives on as a story when a man has been dead for over seventy-five years.
Lord, break every haughty bone in my body and replace them with the strength and peace of humility. Amen and amen.