Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 27:2
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth, a stranger, and not your own lips.” – Proverbs 27:2
This verse deals with pride, arrogance and humility. Some people do things in order to be noticed and be honored for it. I have seen this many times, especially famous people who want to be remembered and lifted up. However, Solomon writes a much different concept, one where we just do something simply because it is needed. He says, in or focus verse, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2.
Now we are to do good things. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8. We are called to do good works to both assist our brothers and sisters, our neighbor and to glorify and honor God. If someone needs help, offer it and give them assistance. If they are struggling because of trials that are besetting them, go to them and give them the help and encouragement they need. As the theologian Matthew Henry says, “We must do that which is commendable, for which even strangers may praise us. Our light must shine before men, and we must do good works that may be seen.” We are called to shine the light of Christ into the darkness. However, he finishes this thought in this way. “though we must not do them on purpose that they may be seen. Let our own works be such as will praise us, even in the gates,” The world needs to see us, as Christians, doing good things for the benefit of others.
But when we do these good things we must not do them for the purpose that they may be seen. Let our own works be such as will praise us, but we must not seek praise from others for these good works. There may be times where we may need to discuss what we did, but it does not become us to applaud ourselves in the process. Paul puts our calling this way. “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3.
Everything we do must not be to honor ourselves. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17. It is important it be done for His purpose. Do everything because he requires and commands it, and with a desire to honor him. His authority should be our reason, his glory the aim of all our actions and words.
Lastly, Jesus tells His disciples not to exalt themselves for any reason. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12. The way to arrive at the highest degree of dignity, in the sight of God, is by being willing to become the servant of all. Nothing is more undesirable in the sight of God then pride and arrogance.
We will be lifted up by others at times because of their thankfulness for what we have done for them. However, we must accept this humbly, without building ourselves up in the process. If anyone is to be exalted, it is God who has given us the opportunities to do His work here on this earth, and the ability and knowledge to make it happen. If anyone deserves praise, it is Him. So, instead of focusing on ourselves we should focus on God in all matters. What joy will be derived by giving Him all the glory.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.