Better Choices – Despised

9 August 2020 PM – Proverbs 12:9 – Choices – Scott Childs
Introduction: We are going to begin a brief series on Better Choices from the book of Proverbs. Read Proverbs 12:9.
When I was in grade school, we had a holiday called St. Patricks Day. On that day, everyone in our class was to wear green. Just to be accepted by my peers, I dyed all my clothes for that day green, including my shoes. Was that a smart thing to do? No! Did my motives please the Lord? No! I was acting like the proud man in our text this evening.
Transition: Life is full of choices. God wants us to make better choices than the fools of this world. Keep that in mind as we examine the options and better choice found in Proverbs 12:9.
  1. The First Option
a.         This person [Mr. Humble] is despised
1)         The word translated “despised” means to be dishonoured, be despised, or be lightly esteemed.
2)         The root of the word means, to be light in stature, or worthless. When a shepherd travelled light, he did not have much cargo with him. He dried his foods to make them lighter for carrying. Thus, it describes making light of someone or something as in shame, curse or dishonour.
3)         In the eyes of society, Mr. Humble was among the lower classes. He did not possess much of the weighty or valuable things of this life. For these reasons, he was despised or lightly esteemed by the “who’s who” of this world. He was not among the elite upper crust. He had no great reputation. No one knew his name. No fans considered him their hero. He was just a nobody.
4)         Mr. Humble was also lowly in his own eyes. He did not promote himself as someone special. Either by obligation or choice he chose to identify with the lower classes of society and live humbly, modestly and frugally.
5)         David shared that attitude when he heard that King Saul wanted him to marry his daughter. (1 Samuel 18:23) “And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
b.         Mr. Humble has a servant
1)         Mr. Humble, though his lightly esteemed, may not have had much in this life, but he did have a servant.
2)         Some think the phrase may mean, “He was a servant to himself.” If that is true, he worked like a servant for himself. He was diligent.
3)         Hardworking Mr. Humble used his money wisely. Because he behaved himself wisely, he was able to hire a servant or worked hard like one. He was a good businessperson. He kept his bills paid. He always had food on his table for his family.
2.        The Second Option
a.         This person [Mr. Proud] honoured himself
1)         He sought to make himself look better than he truly was. He lived in an upper class area. He had valuable possessions. He dressed in fashion clothing. He wore showy jewellery. He associated with upper crust people.
2)         Mr. Proud longed to impress others. He wanted the praise of men.
3)         Haman in the book of Esther fits this description.
4)         Another is the rich man in (Luke 16:19). “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:” While both Haman and the rich man had plenty in this world, they had nothing in the world to come. They were spiritually bankrupt.
5)         All worldly honour is vanity. It is here today and gone tomorrow.
6)         It is the proud and foolish man who honours himself.
b.         Mr. Proud lacked bread
1)         He wasted his money on worldly display.
2)         Like the Prodigal son in Luke 15, this man spent his money as if it was endless to make himself look good and to have fun. However, the day came when it was all gone and there was nothing to set on the table to eat.
3)         Though Mr. Proud lived as if he had much, in reality, he was broke. He did not even have enough to keep food on his table for his family.
3.        The Better Choice
a.         Comments
1)         The Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary made this excellent comment, “Children are taken with what is showy on the surface—they have little regard for what lies underneath. They will be more delighted with a soap-bubble than with a diamond. But men look on things with different eyes. So it is only men and women of childish minds who estimate a man by his clothes, his house, or his establishment, and it is only such who will despise the first man mentioned in the text.”
2)         Pulpit Commentary, “It is wiser to look after one’s own business and provide for one’s own necessities, even if thereby he meets with contempt and detraction, than to be in real want, and all the time assuming the airs of a rich and prosperous man.”
3)         Constable, “The point seems to be that some people live beyond their means in a vain show . . . whereas, if they lived modestly, they could have some of the conveniences of life, e.g., a servant.”
4)         “Respectable mediocrity is better than boastful poverty.” — Speaker’s Commentary
b.         Principles
1)         Pride is our constant enemy. We like people to think well of us. Of the Pharisees, Jesus said, (John 12:43) “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
2)         Earthly riches are only earthly. (1 Timothy 6:7) “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
3)         Heavenly riches are eternal. (Matthew 6:20) “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
4)         This is what Jesus said about the humble praying publican in the temple, (Luke 18:14) “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
5)         On Judgment Day, God’s opinion of your life is the only thing that will matter. (2 Corinthians 5:10) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
c.          Applications
1)         Many today foolishly buy expensive name brands to make themselves look cool in the eyes of their peers. Do not fall for that vain trap.
2)         Jesus spoke of those who would gain the whole world but lose their own soul. (Matthew 16:26) “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” If you gain all that this world has to offer and lose your life of service for the Lord, you will stand before Him on Judgment Day empty handed.
3)         Do not live proudly for men’s praise; live prudently for God’s praise.
Conclusion: Evaluate your ambitions in life. For what are you living? Do you, like Mr. Proud, buy things to gain the praise of men? If your ambitions are like Mr. Proud who honoureth himself, one day you will lack bread (literally and spiritually).
The better choice is to be like Mr. Humble and to be content with what God has given you. Do not seek to honour yourself. Do not seek the praise of men. Work hard and live for God’s glory. If the world despises you, remember, you have made the better choice and will be glad you did throughout eternity.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367