“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”
—Proverbs 24:16 (NLT).
The title may be a play on the Hasbro/Parker Brothers game, MonopolyTM, but it’s etched in truth as a life-aligning paradigm for true, sustainable success.
Here’s the rub: God cannot raise a person up (in the correct, sustainable way of things) unless that person is first “humble-able”—for want of a better, equally succinct word.
But, I hear you say, ‘Well, what about the many irresponsible ones that do climb the ladder, rising to great heights, albeit prematurely (from a moral development viewpoint)?’ God has his purpose in these things, however inexplicable. It’s like he accedes to the insistent demands of some, so they can get a better taste, eventually, of what their proud hearts deserve. Again, the process is about humility—and there are many ways to that end. The “wicked” are, therefore, the morally inept; the short-cutters of the right order of things.
Anyone in a significant life position should have a requisite amount of the appropriate moral grounding. The operative word is “should.”
Without the right moral grounding all the climbing to the top comes potentially to nought—don’t pass go; don’t collect the $200—as these people are soon getting what’s been coming to them for years, without partiality. All play by the same rules, and, without dispute. When the dominos fall no correspondence can be entered into. Who can argue (with any effect to the contrary) with God’s natural justice?
And in this way, as outsiders or insiders, we can quietly and humbly chuckle in agreement with God as he delves out his just judgment; for justice is balance.
But, we are wise to consider this advice:
“Don’t be happy when your enemy is defeated;
don’t be glad when he is overwhelmed.
“The Lord will notice and be displeased.
He may not be angry with them anymore.”
—Proverbs 24:17-18 (NCV).
When people suffer for their misdemeanours and are brought swiftly back to the starting line in life they’re brought back for a reason; it’s another chance to learn some of the more basic things—things that were missed first (or thirty-first) time around. This is an adherence for the correct basis and correct order of things—for the moral world always comes first (though it might often seem it doesn’t).
It’s the way the Lord designed it. And humility drives this earnestness of enquiry.
When we’re for some reason cast to the ground in life, it’s often (though not always) a chance to learn in humility what we passed too breezily beforehand.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.