“The humble…retain honor.” Pr 29:23 NKJV
The first lie Satan told Adam and Eve was a direct appeal to the ego in all of us: “You will be like God” (Ge 3:5 NRS). The crafty old serpent pulled back the curtain to heaven’s throne room and gave our first parents a glimpse of power and glory, and they were hooked. And we’ve been hooked ever since! If you’ve spent any time in the company of social climbers and “name droppers” you realize human nature hasn’t changed much. It’s still about staying on top! And since manners can take you where money alone can’t, you can actually take classes that teach you “power table manners.” Things like never handing your plate to the server, and never stooping to retrieve dropped silverware. In fact, to insure your place on the ladder of upward mobility, a cardinal rule is never to stoop at all! Not even to help meet people’s needs, admit your mistakes, or give to those who can’t repay you. The pursuit of power makes you think you’re better than others, and prevents you from serving them. It makes you susceptible to flattery, resistant to honest counsel, and leads to isolation and non-accountability. You see it every day in little things like never complimenting those under you in case they “forget their place”; refusing to be loving and courteous to your mate in case you lose your most powerful weapon—control; putting personal ambition ahead of personal integrity; withholding intimacy to punish and manipulate someone. Such power plays are designed to get you what you want at other people’s expense. That’s why the Bible warns, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble…retain honor.”
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