The Center of Attention


The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.  Proverbs 15:33

An arrogant man boasts because he wants to be honored.  He is not content to live his life quietly with integrity.  He fears that he might forfeit recognition if he removes himself from the center of everyone’s attention. He feels desperate because He believes he needs others’ respect to survive.  The irony is, those who react politely to his self-centered stories aren’t really honoring him.  Their good manners blind him and their good etiquette impedes his spiritual growth.

God says that real honor will come to us another way; the way of humility.  Modest people are uncomfortable with honor when it’s conferred on them.  They immediately insist that it’s misplaced.  As a recording artist, I’ve played with a good number of professional musicians over the years.  I have noticed that the more gifted the musician, the more humble they were.  The truly great artists were less sure of their performance and offered to play it again and again until they felt they got it right. They looked for the flaws in their performance in order to serve you well.

What gets complicated is when I know enough scripture to fake humility. I discover that I can still be in the spotlight if I’m known for being humble. How tricky the soul is! I adopt a posture such as this… “I come from such simple beginnings but for some reason I don’t understand, God has chosen to bless me!”  My pride has a voracious appetite and there are all sorts of creative ways I can appear self-effacing in order to take care of my fragile ego.

The closer I get to Jesus, I find that there is only one kind of honor I crave ~ the pleasure of Jesus.  When I perceive He is pleased, my world is complete.  I have to constantly re-align my focus and turn my eyes to the One whose applause matters.  Daily, I have to endeavor to live by my spirit, not my soul.

The applause of others is so fickle, Lord.  When they honor me, the thrill doesn’t last long.  I am only at peace if I know You will say, “That’s my child and oh, how she pleases me.”  In Jesus’ name, Amen

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