John grew up in a small town. A nice kid—liked, but hardly noticed by most—John grew up and eventually moved away to attend college and law school.
After obtaining his degree and license to practice, he decided to come back to his hometown, only this time, he would return a much bigger man than he left.
Out to impress the people of his boyhood home, he rented an office on the main street of the small town, where sooner or later, he would be seen by all the townsfolk. He hung out a beautiful sign of dark cherry wood with his name carved in elaborate, large letters. He furnished the office with deep leather chairs and a large, oak desk. There simply was no way anyone would not be impressed once they saw John and his new office.
While at his desk, still setting things up, John sees a man turn and start up his walkway. Deciding to make a big impression on his first client, he picked up the phone before the man reached the door. John motioned the man to come in and take a seat while he tended to what seemed to be a very important call. John barked into the phone, “No! Absolutely not! You tell the people in New York I’m not settling this case for less than one million dollars! Yes, the Appeals Court has already agreed to hear the case. I’ll handle the primary argument and other members of my team will provide support. Tell the State Prosecutor I’ll meet with him next week to discuss the details.”
This sort of talk continues a few minutes as, all the while, the man who walked into the office sat patiently waiting.
Finally, John hangs up the phone and turns to the man, apologizing for the delay, saying, “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. As you heard, I’m in the middle of some very important business that just couldn’t wait. Now, what can I do for you?”
The man replied, “I’m from the phone company. I’m here to connect your telephone.”
Oh boy, not sure John made quite the impression he was hoping to.
The Bible has much to say about pride, perhaps the most well-known passage coming from the book of Proverbs, where we read in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Also from the book of Proverbs, in Proverbs 11:2 we read, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” And still one more verse in Proverbs—and we have this phrase in our language, warning of the dangers of not, “tooting one’s own horn”—and that seems to be the idea here in Proverbs 27:2, where we read, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”
We’re also reminded in 1 Sam 16:7 that, “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” so even if we do manage to impress man, what good is that when the Lord sees right through us? In the end, it’s Him we should seek to please and not man.
In closing, let us remember there’s something much better than our seeking to lift ourselves up, and we find it in James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”