God can still accomplish great things through proud people, and He at times even blesses the work of the pompous. However, we shouldn’t necessarily equate success with honor. Popularity is not the same as blessing. The Scriptures say it this way:
Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Any one of us can find ourselves in the midst of notoriety and accomplishment yet still miss out on the joy, peace, and gratitude that accompanies true honor from God. In the Hebrew language this Old Testament word for honor poetically refers to the soul of humanity. It’s not a reference to our outward performance but rather our heart’s well-being.
I am incredibly grateful that God is gracious to the proud, among whom I am first. However, if a person is inwardly rotting away from pride they are not experiencing the blessing of God, no matter how popular or successful their life may seem to be.
The pathway to true honor always come through humility. A heart that is being cultivated for God is always an indicator of true blessing. So I am asking myself these kind of questions…
1. Do I experience joy in God’s blessings?
OR Do I constantly crave more, bigger, and better?
2. Do I fully acknowledge the hand of God in everything (good and bad)?
OR Do I only focus on circumstances and situations?
3. Do I use my platform to point to Christ?
OR Do I try to take the credit?
4. Do I have a spirit of gratitude?
OR Do I constantly criticize & complain?
5. Do I have a continuing commitment to my personal/private spiritual formation?
OR Do I neglect ‘practicing what I preach’?
Paul sums up these ideas best in this passage…
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.