Finding The Honor We Long For
A man’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)
The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
We have an insatiable desire to be known. It is hardwired into our nature. I believe it is there from God as a tool to drive us to the Source from which alone real significance and affirmation can come.
Incredibly, God has a completely counter-intuitive process for that to happen.
Satan tells us we must get our sense of significance and success from men. Therefore we should “fear” them, always looking to them for approval and significance. This causes us to subconsciously (and consciously) keep adjusting our lives to perform in ways that gain recognition and honor before men.
God says that when we live that way we will be “brought low” but if we will humbly trust and serve Him and others we will obtain honor. It may not be the kind of honor the world treasures, but we will be ultimately and greatly lifted up, far above all this world could possibly give.
In the tremendous new book, “Embracing Obscurity”, the anonymous author challenges us to think about the byline behind our names that we desire. A few sobering questions remind us how deeply this desire haunts us, causing us to look for affirmation in all the wrong places and keeping us from the restful joy that comes from embracing humility.
1. When you meet someone for the first time, what is the first or most important thing you want that person to know about who you are, what you do or what you have done?
2. If you lost your current vocation (not just your current position) and were forced to work in a lesser-known capacity, would you feel a sense of loss, or a change in your identity?
3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is it to you that others admire you for what you do or have done in life?
4. How is success defined in your genre of work or performance? In other words, what would it look like for someone to “make it” in your field? Is it your goal to “make it? If not, what is your goal (if any)?
5. One a scale of one to ten, what role does success (as you define it) play in whether you feel your are all-around “successful” as a person? (1=doesn’t factor in; 10=they’re practically synonymous?
6. Do you tie your identity to any other relationships in your life? (e.g., a popular boyfriend/relationship? A gorgeous wife? A Star-athlete son or daughter?
If we are honest, we would discover we are driven to create a by-line that captures the attention of others. The writer of Proverbs is reminding us that this plan is silly and absolutely fruitless. It just won’t work.
©2012 Bill Elliff. Originally posted on Aug 2, 2012 at Bill Elliff’s Blog