Proverbs 25:6-7 (NKJV, The Message)
Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of the great;
For it is better that he say to you,
“Come up here,”
Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen
* * *
Don’t work yourself into the spotlight;
don’t push your way into the place of prominence.
It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor
than face humiliation by being demoted.
When I read this passage today during my devotional time it hit me. Smack dab in the face. And hard. I think that is what scripture does sometimes. I can read the same passage at different times in my life and it affects me differently. Today, for whatever reason, this passage struck me as something that I needed to be paying attention to.
Perhaps it was because I had just had a conversation with my sister about someone else who was an extrovert who always seems to have the need to turn the conversation back to themselves. Perhaps it was because that conversation left me feeling like I had been just looking for something to criticize about that person. I really don’t know the reason why it made me stop and pause when I read it. But I suspect it might be because God wanted me to take a look at myself a bit closer instead of focusing on someone else.
It is easy to get sucked into the “look at me, look at me” syndrome these days. I am guilty of that more often than not. I take selfies and post them. I admit that it feels very nice when people give me praise and compliment me. Sometimes it is difficult to keep things in perspective in a world where self promotion is a thing.
“Don’t work yourself into the spotlight.”. Of course there are many different ways to interpret this passage but today these words were a bit of a reprimand. Be humble. Do things quietly. Don’t self promote to the point where you lose sight of who is God in your life. No, change that to don’t self promote to the point where I lose sight of who is God in MY life.
Stay humble. Stay grounded. Be true to who God has created you to be. The spotlight is a there but I don’t always need to be in it. Sometimes the shadows are the perfect place to be instead.