Pride is the devil’s smiling assassin. He sends it forth to slay every man who seeks its praise.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
Man loves to glory in his own importance. But the more a man basks in his own glory, the less likely he is to humble himself before God. With amazing dexterity the prideful shuffle themselves to the front to be seen by all.
Jesus says that the wise guest takes the least important seat at the table when invited to dinner. Heeding his warning prevents that embarrassing moment when you are told to give up that seat for someone more important than yourself. Instead, it is preferable that the host find you in the least important seat and, in a gesture of honour before all, he moves you to a more important position (Luke 14:10).
James later repeats Jesus’ message: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).
Unsurprisingly, for the unhappy, the back of the line is a miserable place. But this is the place that Jesus calls the faithful to reside. He told his disciples:
“Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
The blessing of the meek is that he inherits the earth as God sees it. Everything belongs to him who bows the knee to King Jesus, and Jesus, who created all things, provides all things for life here and beyond.
The curse of the prideful man is that he inherits the earth as the devil sees it. Everything, in his mind, belongs to him, and he bows the knee to no one. He creates his own world and provides all things necessary for this life only.
While a man is addicted to the gaze of others, he will not gaze upon the glory of Christ.