Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.Proverbs 18:12 (NLT)
I’m not gonna lie. I had to look up the word “haughtiness” in order to remember what it means. So, here’s what I found. “Haughtiness is the appearance or quality of being arrogantly superior and disdainful.” In other words, it is someone who is full of pride. Now, “pride” is a loaded word these days. So let’s break down what I’m talking about.
It was pride that brought sin into existence when Lucifer, the highest-ranking angel in the Kingdom of God, decided that He could rule the universe better than God himself. It was pride that led Lucifer to lead a rebellion and convince one third of the other angels to join him in his attempt to overthrow the kingdom. It was pride that caused Lucifer to target Adam and Eve – payback for being tossed from heaven. It was pride that caused Lucifer to agitate people so much against God’s kingdom that they chose to murder the Son of God, Jesus.
Here’s the thing. That same pride which Lucifer has – who lived in a perfect universe with no death, sorrow, pain, or sin – is alive and well inside each one of us. Humans are prideful by our very nature. So, what does pride look like for you and me? It’s simple. We simply believe that we should get what we want and we don’t care if anyone gets hurt in the process. In other words, life is all about us and our desires. We are the center of the universe.
As King Solomon put it in our verse today, “Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.” As with Lucifer, if we don’t check our pride, it will lead to destruction, both in this life and eternally.
Instead, we are called to be humble. What does humility mean in a real-world sense? Life isn’t about you. Your desires? Not the top priority. In fact, you don’t even make the top three. Humility looks like this: Love God above all else, and love others. You come in third.
But, notice what humility leads to: honor. God honors us. People honor us. Except in this sense, honor isn’t a certificate to hang on a wall. Honor is respect. Want others to respect you? Love them. Serve them. Listen to them. Encourage them. Lift them up.
So, today, and every day, choose to live a humble life, loving God and loving others. You will be blessed.