“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” Proverbs 18:12
I have heard the saying, “death before dishonor,” on many an occasion. Usually while watching war movies. I often wonder – what does that really mean? Does it mean that one would fight to the point of death before bringing shame to one’s country? Or does it mean that you would rather die than face losing?
To fight for one’s country is probably one of the greatest forms of humility. Jesus himself died to save us, even though we did nothing to earn it. In return, we were given a promise that we would never again be shamed for our sins but forgiven for them.
It seems all too often when we sin against God or others, we would either do one of two things: we face the issue at hand, and fight for what is right, or we retreat. Sort of like the fight or flight syndrome.
It is inevitable that pride is the downfall of every man. Honor follows those who practice humility. Be patient with those who are struggling around you, and always be forgiving… you have no idea what battle they might be facing all on their own. At the same time, be quick to admit when you are wrong and ask forgiveness. Do not try to do something for God and offer your gifts to others, until you have made things right with your brothers and sisters.
“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:21-24
I feel that the biggest reason we have war, is because of pride. The reason our governments fail us … pride …
We should strive always to live peaceably with one another (Romans 12:18), and that takes humility. Jesus was the humblest king that ever lived; the epitome of humility. He faced the most embarrassing and excruciating punishments of all time, but He did it for the good of others. He deserved none of it, but it did not stop Him from fulfilling God’s will.
The adage of old states, “The best defense is a good offense.” This means you should being proactive in your approach to things, rather than reactive. We cannot foresee what lies ahead of us each day, but we can choose now how we will handle such things. We can plan with prayer, and ask God to go ahead of us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Start every day with prayer, and choose not to let the negative things that come our way to affect us more than they need to.
I would like to rephrase the “death before dishonor” quote. Let’s say, “humility before honor.” The bible says that to lead we must learn how to serve.
“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Humility is not a form of weakness, it is actually a great strength. Defensiveness in a man is a great form of insecurity. When we are secure about who we are in Christ there is nothing that can shake us or move us, especially when adversity comes our way. Humility builds people up, instead of tearing them down. As of the body of Christ there should be no other way. God bless!