Humility's Reward (Proverbs 22:4) - Radical

Humility’s Reward (Proverbs 22:4)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches, and honor, and life.
– Proverbs 22:4

What a great verse. And we know that this proverb and many other proverbs like it, it’s not intended to be a guarantee or promise. Okay, if you have humility and fear of God, then you’ll be rich.

Proverbs 22:4 Tells Us the Reward of Humility

We know, that’s not true. Practically, biblically, that’s not what this proverb is teaching. We know not everybody who is rich is humble. And not everybody who is poor is proud. So, the picture here in this proverb is that there’s reward that comes with humility and fear of the Lord. Life and honor are found in fearing God, and being humble before God.

There is reward that comes with humility and fear of the Lord.

And we know this goes against the grain. We are not naturally humble. We are naturally prideful. That’s the essence of sin. CS Lewis in Mere Christianity has a great chapter on pride, as the root, in a sense, of all sin, because in sin, we’re basically saying, “We know better for our lives what to do than God does.” And so we choose our own way, instead of his way.

This Verse Shows Us the Danger of Pride

It’s the ultimate in pride. Instead of humility, saying, “I trust you, God, more than I trust myself.” And so we need to pray for humility. All of us need to pray for this. Knowing that when God gives us humility, when we grow in humility, there’s a reward that comes with that, honor and life, that comes with that. But we got to pray for it.

In that same chapter on pride, CS Lewis talks about how you can try and try and try to humble, but once you get to the point where you’re humble, you’re proud of it, and you have to start all over again. Like it’s this constant quest to grow in humility. And so we need to ask for this. We need to ask for this, pray for this. And know that when God gives it, that there’s life and honor and reward that come with it.

Proverbs 22:4 Prays for Humility in Our Life

So, God we pray for humility in our lives. I pray for humility in my life. We pray for humility in each of our lives today. Help us to grow in humility. Help us to see ourselves rightly before you. Lord, help us to be so fixed on you, and the fear of you, that we have a proper perspective of ourselves. Really, to the point where we don’t think about ourselves, where we think about you, or we think about others. Where we’re consumed with loving you and loving others. God, we pray for this kind of humility, it doesn’t come naturally to us.

We want it. We need it. And we trust that with humility there is great reward, that there’s life and honor in all the right ways. Not in ways that we fabricate in order to assert ourselves in pride, but a right honor. And the full life that you’ve intended for us that are only found, that only come with humility. God, we pray for humility in our lives today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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