12 “Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
Proverbs 18:12 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Receiving honor is a great feeling. Honor that is deserved lands so well. It salutes a great milestone and makes a lifetime memory. It holds power to drive us on. O, how we long for moments of honor!
God wants us to understand the powerful honor process. Before honor comes, a few things must set up first.
HARD WORK comes before honor. We should know this. Life teaches us this.
If we long for honor without hard work, we fool ourselves. And if honor somehow comes without hard work, the honor will always feel hollow, shallow as a puddle (Proverbs 14:23).
HUMILITY comes before honor. We tend to think that only hard work precedes honor. But it goes deeper.
Only humility allows a man or woman to grow. And without this growth, honor will not follow. In fact, honor disappears from the proud person, the one who ignores humility as the recipe (Proverbs 18:12).
WORKING TOGETHER comes before honor. If hard work is done but not really to the benefit of others, who is there to applaud and honor the work (1 Corinthians 3:8)?
GIVING HONOR comes before receiving honor. As we grow in humility, honoring others' contributions to us will occur. The road to honor is a two-way street. Give it genuinely to receive it freely (Romans 13:7; Psalm 112:9; John 7:18).
Reflect: How hungry are you for honor? Are you hungry enough to work hard and to apply humility, togetherness and honor-giving first and foremost? That's the way it really works. Which of these four applications needs your attention?
A prayer to consider: LORD, reflecting Your worth is my joy and honor. Help me also to give honor to others all along the way and work together for their benefit. Hem me in with humility. I only want honor the way Jesus did. Amen.