The Wisdom of HumilityAugust 27, 2021 - 12:00 am
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD,— Proverbs 15:33
and humility comes before honour.”
We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.
One of my favourite teachings from Jewish tradition is a line in the Talmud which states, “Anyone who chases after honour, honour runs away from him. And anyone who flees from honour, honour finds him.”
When I think about the role models and leaders who I respect the most, it only confirms the truth of this statement. People who accomplish great things with humility are the most inspiring to me. On the other hand, those who are just too eager to receive credit and praise end up diminishing their own accomplishments.
When people are arrogantly obsessed with getting the credit and honour they think they deserve, it often stems from a lack of proper faith in God. More to the point, it comes from a lack of fear of the LORD
The Wisdom of Humility
Proverbs teaches us that “wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord.” The reason for this is simple. If I think I have it all figured out by myself, why would I ever learn anything? But if I fear the Lord, my main motivation is to fulfil His will, not my own. I don’t trust my own wisdom over His. The result is that my behaviour will be wiser and more righteous than whatever I would have thought of on my own. Wisdom is the direct result of obediently following the will of God.
The end of this verse leads directly from the beginning: “and humility comes before honour.” People who humbly submit to God’s will, rather than their own, will be honoured for their behaviour because of the wisdom and righteousness that everyone sees.
In other words, the verse is not only saying that humility is more important than honour. Humility literally “comes before” honour because it leads to it. That’s the wisdom of humility!
Your turn: Let’s pray today for God’s guidance in our lives and to seek wisdom with humility and a “fear of the Lord.”