Modern society subscribes to a philosophy that says, “Go as far as you can go. Don’t be satisfied until you reach the top. You deserve the best.” But Bible says that we can’t think too highly of ourselves. Our pride and ambition, our drive to be Number One, can lead us to reach too far. It can bring about our downfall (Proverbs 16:18, 19).
William Shakespeare illustrated this tendency in his play Richard III. It tells the story of a man who was of high British nobility. In fact, he had wealth and great power because his brother was the king. Even so, he was not satisfied. He looked with envious eyes to the throne. Nothing but wearing the crown would please him. So he made the decision to go after it. As the play unfolds, Richard is involved in one terrible misdeed after another, including murder. Richard finally achieves his goal and has himself crowned king. But the good people of England join forces against him in a revolt. Armies march against each another, and Richard III is killed in battle. The very prize he lusted after so strongly had destroyed him. He had reached too high.
Have you become caught in the dangerous cycle of thinking that you deserve only the highest, the best? All of us need to avoid the danger of being discontent with where God has placed us. That’s why it’s good to keep Scripture verses like today’s text fresh in our mind. They will help us avoid reaching too far. – David C. Egner
Inflated views of who we are
Are rooted in our pride,
But when we take what God assigns,
Content we will abide. – Dennis J. De Haan
If you would build high, you must remain low.
- May 5, 1988, Our Daily Bread