“I said to the arrogant, “Don’t be arrogant!” To the wicked I said, “Don’t exalt your strength! Don’t exalt your strength so highly. Don’t speak so arrogantly against the rock.” Because what exalts someone doesn’t come from the east or west; it’s not from the south either. Rather it is God who is the judge. He brings this person down, but that person he lifts up.”
Psalms 75:4-7 (CEB)
It’s amazing how soon we forget who it was that helped us up. I remember a story that Jay-Z told about Memphis Bleek. He discovered him as a hungry rapper in the Marcy projects. He was so hungry that he ate five cheeseburgers in one sitting. Jay gave him a chance to rap and he killed it! He was hungry!
Later after a hit single, it was time to go back in the studio and Memphis Bleek wouldn’t return his mentors calls. Jay-Z went over to Memphis Bleek’s house to discover that he was held up in the bed with a girl. Memphis Bleek called Jay-Z the next day and asked, “When are we going to work on the next album?” Jay-Z said, “What album?!” Memphis Bleek asked, “What about the tour?” Jay-Z said, “What tour?!” His arrogance got him disqualified. Jay-Z said, “I guess he got full too fast.”
We all tend to start out hungry and humble. The key is staying humble. Pride is like yeast. It only takes a little bit of success to blow your head up and make you think you got to where you are on your own merit. But Jesus warned us that he who exalts himself will be humbled and she who humbles herself will be exalted. Sit down! Be humble!
The psalmist has a conversation with the wicked who think they are above God. It’s amazing how people can become so arrogant that they think they know more than God. Right away we all will defend this thought and say, “I would never set myself above God,” but when we become judge and jury over others, we play God. When we are disrespectful to the leaders who God put over us we become arrogant. Pride slips in through judgment and you thinking you know more than the ones God used to bring you up.
- Don’t be arrogant. What is arrogance? Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. The Apostle Paul said, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
- Don’t exalt your strength so highly. You don’t have to go around bragging on yourself. That’s for other people to do. Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
- Promotion doesn’t come from the east or the west but from God. When you stop and think about what you deserve and what you got, it should humble you. God is the one who lifts you up, and if necessary, the one who sits you down.
I looked up the definition of humble and this is what it says in terms of someone being made humble
- to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase
- to destroy the independence, power, or will of
- to make meek
God has a way of humbling us when we get full too fast. The good news is that when we humble ourselves, make corrections, make apologies, ask for forgiveness God will raise us back up after we’ve sat down and humbled ourselves before the rock that is higher than ourselves. No matter how high I get I will always be looking up to him.
I look to you, the rock that is higher than me. It is you that have saved us and not we ourselves. Forgive me for ever thinking I was smart enough, creative enough to get here on my own. You’ve used great people and mentors to get me to where I am today. I am humbled as I look back over my life and see how you raised a lowly servant like me and trusted me with so much. Forgive me for getting full off of success and not hungering and thirsting for righteousness. I have sinned against you and you alone. Make me as one of your hired servants. Thank you for giving me a place at your table.
In Jesus’ Name,