Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
I. EXPLAIN THE NATURE OF GENUINE HUMILITY.
1. It does not consist in a mean and servile state of mind, in anything that is unworthy of the man or the Christian. Humility dignifies human nature; a spirit of servility degrades it. Some persons are naturally timid and faint-hearted. But this is mere human weakness.
2. It does not consist in indulging a low and dejected frame of mind, or in being pensive and sad on all occasions. Distance and reserve are so far from being the fruit of genuine humility, that they often proceed from pride and self-conceit.
3. There is what the Scriptures call a "voluntary humility" unrequired and unapproved. An apparently humble demeanour may consist with a haughty and aspiring spirit.
4. Genuine humility consists chiefly in the state of our hearts towards God. Here reason bows to faith, and interest to obligation.
5. Humility consists in thinking of ourselves as we ought to think, and conducting ourselves accordingly.
6. Our humility will appear in the sentiments we entertain of others, of the behaviour we manifest towards them.
II. THE HONOUR WITH WHICH CHRISTIAN HUMILITY IS ACCOMPANIED.
1. It is the forerunner of just and worthy commendation. God exalts the low tree, and brings down the high.
2. Humility is a preparative for honour. A meek and quiet spirit is itself an ornament. It prepares the way for further honours.
3. Eternal honours shall be the gracious reward of true and genuine humility. God shall save the humble person.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.