When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” Esther 6:6

Haman is enjoying a false sense of security. His recent promotion to one of the top officials in the court has gone to his head. His arrogance has been fattened further by the invitations to Esther’s table. This particular morning, Haman is being summoned into the king’s sleeping quarters before anyone else in the palace. The king reveals that he wishes to honor someone and Haman is quick to assume that the honor will most certainly be his.

I wonder how much of Haman is in me. I can easily be affected by whose ear I enjoy. I can so easily want others to know of my accomplishments and to make sure it happens, I think up creative ways to insert such information into everyday conversations. All of this feeds my soul, not my spirit. What’s the difference? My soul is selfish and looks for ways to flaunt the myth that I’m really someone important apart from God’s favor on my shoulder. I mistake God’s blessing on my life as something I attained solely through ingenuity and hard work. My spirit, however, longs to make God great. So He can be magnified, I am willing to be small in other’s eyes.

What drives each one of us to seek places of prominence? Whether insecurity or entitlement, it is always won at the expense of others. 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. 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! My pride has a voracious appetite and there are all sorts of creative ways I can appear self-effacing.

The closer I get to Jesus, I find that there is only one kind of honor I crave ~ the pleasure of Jesus. I have to constantly re-align my focus and turn my eyes to the One whose applause matters.

I want to fully live by my spirit, not my soul. Don’t let me forget the story of Haman. When my dreams turn self-centered, let me remember his story. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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