Fear of the Lord

Do you listen to your father’s instruction?

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1).

It seemed like his father was always picking on him about something. “Do this.” “Do that.” There was never a time when he left him alone. Sometimes the boy thought it would have been better if he did not have a father. He could not get away with anything, and if he was caught doing something he was not supposed to, his old man was on his back in a flash. It was not fair.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)

But when the boy grew up and had a family of his own, he realized that his father had kept after him to teach him how to live properly. He wished there were some way to thank his father; but he decided the best way was to be a good father to his own kids.

Often we scorn instruction and rebuke because it isn’t what we want to hear. But there comes a time when we are glad that we had instruction. The words come echoing back to us, and we begin at long last, to understand why they were offered. Too often we reject the words without actually paying attention to them. We need to listen to instruction no matter how much we do not want to hear it. It takes maturity to realize that others may know what is best for us.

Proverbs 4:20-27

My children, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

God wants you to check your ego at the door

Sassetta - Virgin of Humility - WGA20869

Sassetta - Virgin of Humility - WGA20869 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).

There was an actor who was fond of telling everyone how wonderful he was. His house was a museum of memorabilia from his career. His rave reviews were framed and hung in every room. Awards graced shelves and tables, and copies of his movies were played on large screens when visitors came by. He took such delight in rattling off his achievement that no one else ever felt compelled to praise him.

“For whosoever exalted himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11)

Too often people seek after honors when they should be thriving for humility. Honors are not something that we deserve. They are gifts and should be given by others, not by ourselves. When we praise our own efforts, we slip into the sin of conceit. The good book tells in James 4:6 that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” God is most pleased when we commit ourselves to doing what is right. Even if no honors come to us in this life, God will honor us richly in the life to come.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). It is the humble man who is able to keep his sights set on God and in doing His will. Thomas A. Kempis said it best, “It is good for me Lord, that thou hast humbled me, that I may learn Thy righteous Judgments, and may cast away all haughtiness of heart and all presumption. “

If we use our time doing the things that God has asked us to do, we will not have time to brag about our accomplishments. God has given us plenty to keep us busy all the days of our lives. If we stay committed to doing what is pleasing in His sight, He will bless us all our days.

Keep me humble, Lord. Help me to remember that I am nothing without You. You have given me everything I have and everything I am. You have blessed me with so many wonderful things, and I praise you. Amen!