Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Humble pie

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 26, 27, 28 (NIV)

Ezekiel 28:1-5 (NIV)

1 The Word of the Lord came to [Ezekiel]: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:’ ”In the pride of your heart you say, ‘I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.’ But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth and because of your wealth, your heart has grown proud.”

Proverbs 18:12 (NIV)

12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

Good morning!

What is it like to be a rising star? Country music singer and songwriter, Mac Davis, knew a little bit about stardom and fame. I remember watching The Mac Davis Show on television. It aired from 1974 to 1976. In his career, Davis wrote and recorded many popular country music songs, was cast in several television sitcoms, and spent several years on tour. In 1980, Davis wrote and recorded the song, “It’s hard to be humble.” Aside from its catchy chorus, take a closer look at one of the verses:

I sat down and wrote me a little song.

Now this is how it feels to be alone;

at the top of the hill and trying to figure out why.

Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.

I can’t wait to look in the mirror because I get better looking each day.

To know me is to love me.

Ezekiel spoke the Word of the Lord to the king of Tyre. This was an unpopular message. The king had become full of himself. The pride in his heart led him to foolishly believe he was a god. He felt invincible, especially while sitting on the throne, ruling a beautiful, perfect city. The king had his world by its tail and having that control felt good. He was well educated and self-sufficient, gaining wealth and riches every step of the way. He surrounded himself with the best of everything. And yet, the king of Tyre had nothing except an unrealistic illusion of himself. God said it was because of the king’s great wealth, his heart had become proud.

Humble pie is hard to swallow. When pride is half-baked in the ovens of our lofty imaginations, the enticing aroma and its sugary sweetness draws us in like an aphrodisiac. It is only when we taste the first bite that our lips pucker in its bitter taste. It is easy to become full of ourselves. We find ourselves falling into pride when we do not give credit where credit is due. When God gives you a victory, do you remember to thank Him? Maybe you have achieved great knowledge, acquired several degrees, and your skill sets have afforded you the nicer things of life. God gave you the mind to seek higher education. He gave you the will and strength to persevere and work hard. Are you successful because of what you’ve done or does your success come from the blessing of the Lord in your life?

Maybe God has given you a healthy and strong body. You may striking physical attributes. You may be photogenic – the perfect height and weight to model a professional clothing line, or find work in the theatre and film industry. Does your physical appearance overwhelm you to the point that you would spend a fortune simply trying to hang onto that youthful persona? Do you place more emphasis on the outward appearance than what God has created in your heart?

There is a fine line between taking pride in who we are and becoming a prideful, arrogant, self-centered individual. The Psalmist reminds us that humility always comes before honor. Have you ever experienced the sin of pride? It’s like the song says, “Now this is how it feels to be alone.”

If you are struggling today with the sin of pride, God has the power to remove the veil. We can deceive ourselves for only so long. The king’s kingdom was getting ready to tumble. Pride goeth before the fall. God has given you some amazing gifts; they are not of your making – every good gift comes from Him. You can begin again, by simply saying thank you to the One who has blessed your life, asking Him to remove the sin of pride from your heart today. The pedestal you have placed yourself on is going to fall. It is a lonely place at the top of the heap where reality and fantasy collide.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding


Pray for: a humble heart, recognizing that every good gift comes from God above. Look up and say thank you today for the gifts in your life. Ask Him to help you set aside the things that make you puff up with pride. Give credit where credit is due. Only God is worthy to receive our thanks and praise!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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