What Humility is NOT.
I’d just written last week’s blog, and put it to bed, when I read the following verse in my morning devotions:
Proud, Haughty, Scoffer are his names, who acts with insolent pride (Proverbs 21:24, NASB). Another translation renders it this way: Show me a conceited person, and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate (GNT).
That’s a heap of noun-verbiage. Each word critical to describing what won’t help us get through the door to experience the adventure in Wonderland. That made each word worth examination.
In Larry Crabb’s book, Sixty-six Love Letters, God says this about the book of Proverbs: “As you read Proverbs, expect to feel the shame of exposure. Many of your ways are foolish. Expect, too, to feel the appeal of wisdom. God has given us a heart that wants to walk the narrow road.”
Sometimes, I fear my foolishness is completely bound and tangled up within my heart, especially when I read verses such as the above.
Here are some of the characteristics synonymous with a not-so-humble human (from Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament, Spiros Zhodiates): self-sufficient, impudent, one who “seethes,” boils over, acts proudly. Just as water in a pot boils over, so the presumptuous, arrogant, person oversteps his boundaries. An over-bearing, know-it-all, argumentative and contentious. Self-sufficient. A scoffer: one who makes a mouth at, is quick to interpret, to intercede, to mock, imitate, express utter contempt toward, to boast…
This is not a pretty picture. This kind of charisma won’t keep God huge and me small enough to enter the door to Wonderland…
When last week’s blog ended, I wrote these words: But, while I desire to drink humility, it can be so hard to swallow… I want to take those words back. When I look at the alternative, I’m much more eager to drink the liquid on the table that will get me through that little door!