[Last devotional until September 6th, 2021. See note below.]
Proverbs 11:2 says: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Have you ever wondered why that is? It’s because pride wants to take the wheel and be in control. Humility, on the other hand, is about kicking out arrogance so that God’s wisdom can climb into the driver’s seat.
There was a time when the influential Reformers Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther found themselves at odds about an issue. Zwingli wasn’t sure how to proceed.
One day he was on the side of a Swiss mountain and saw two goats walking toward each other along a narrow path. When they met, the path was so narrow that they couldn’t get around one another. They backed up and lowered their heads. Zwingli thought they were going to ram one another and fight.
But then one of the goats lay down on the path, allowing the other to step over him. Then it got up, and both of the goats went on their way, ascending to their destinations higher up the mountain.
Zwingli had found his answer. The goat was able to make it higher because he was willing to bend lower.*
So it is with people.
In the ancient world, humility was often considered a character flaw, not a virtue. But up is often down and down is often up in the kingdom of a surprising and grace-gushing God—a God who comes to us as a baby in a smelly manger among the meek and lowly.
Other people can go first, be right, and have needs. That doesn’t mean you’re last, wrong or that you never need attention. It just means that you trust God enough to yield the driver’s seat to him.
With humility comes wisdom.
—Upcoming Break: The Up Devotional will go on pause after August 6, returning September 6, 2021. I’ll be on vacation!
—Article: “Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Letdown.” This is an article I co-authored with therapist Sarah Joy Covey which was published in Faith Today Magazine. After experiencing personal and collective trauma we will need to be deliberate to be well. You can read it here.
—Podcast: “Reading and understanding the Bible when you’re by yourself.” Do you ever get confused when you’re reading the Bible? Here are 5 interpretation principles that I think will help as a part of Westminster Church’s podcast, “The Word at Westminster.” You can listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or Spotify, or by clicking here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–*As told in: Max Lucado: Cure for the Common Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 133-34).