It is not good to eat much honey;
So to seek one’s own glory is not glory. (Prov. 25:27)
I love the comparison between honey and one’s own glory. It is sweet to be glorified! It feels good to have praise and honor from people. We love to be respected. Honor and adoration tastes delicious to our hearts like honey to our lips.
However, too much honor and too much adoration and too much respect can cause us to be boastful, arrogant, and conceited. Our sinful hearts are quick to take anything good and make it unGodly. What may start out as worthy appreciation can quickly produce excessive pride. And we know that pride comes before the fall.
Have you found honey?
Eat only as much as you need,
Lest you be filled with it and vomit. (Prov. 25:16)
The task then is to take what we need and nothing more. We need to have some confidence in ourselves. Those who believe that they are worthless and/or are not special are sinning against God. To have low self-esteem is to be lacking in faith. Every believer knows that they’re significant to God; we are so special that Jesus was willing to die for our sins and trade all He had to redeem us. We are to Him like a treasure hidden in a field, “which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt 13:44)
So too much self-pity is against God because it is absorbed with self instead of seeking to be absorbed in God. It’s a kind of self-glorification. On the other end of the spectrum is too much self-confidence–a feeling of trust in one’s own abilities. The only way self-confidence can be righteous is if it is based in God. Our trust in our own ability is a trust in what He has given us. We trust in what He has told us about ourselves. We should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We should esteem others as better than ourselves. We must be ready to sit at the lowest seat of the table and serve all of our brothers. This is what Jesus did. This is the image of Christ. He didn’t exalt Himself. He didn’t make Himself of any reputation. He humbled himself even unto death! When we allow ourselves to be exalted we can fall into a slippery, sinful slope. We should not seek our own glory because glory belongs to God. And if we are humble, He will lift us up.
“How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44)
The truth is that, as sweet as honey may taste, it can kill us. And just like pooh bear loves honey, our hearts long to be glorified. It will look for it anywhere it can. But this addiction and seeking after glory is the image of the devil. This is how he runs society; we think that we will be most fulfilled and satisfied, if people glorify our names, if we are exalted above our peers, if everyone knows how great we are. But this desire is so dangerous and deadly, we must be ready to check ourselves every time we see it. We should practice saying from our hearts “all glory to God and God alone!” We don’t want to look like the devil! In Ezekiel 28, the bible tells us of a beautiful and perfect angel that became corrupt. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…” The devil got a little taste of the honey and went crazy! We must be careful that we don’t do the same. When God uses us, we should take the mindset of the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem on, knowing that the praise we may hear and the adulation that surrounds is not toward us, but glory to God alone. If we aren’t vigilant over ourselves and our desires, we will be destroyed by them.
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls. (Prov. 25:28)