We, the fleas
Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility. Proverbs 18.12
When we read a verse such as this one, we automatically assume, 'This isn't for me, after all, I’m not a proud person'... That's right, our corrupt heart is constantly trying to keep us from the truth.
This is what happened with the rich young man. He considered himself to be an example, so he thought he had the right to go up to the Lord Jesus and question Him about what he should do to obtain eternal life; after all, he "kept all the commandments from his youth." But Jesus knew his heart was deceiving him, so He asked him for something that would show exactly who he was before God...
If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Matthew 19.20-22
And the young man walked away sad, not because the Lord Jesus asked him to do that, but because he knew that he did not keep the commandments of God at all. His refusal revealed that God was not in first place in his life, as is written in the first commandment. This is when the rich young man understood his real condition before God. He was not the person he thought he was.
The rich young man's heart exalted him, probably by showing him everything he did right, and hiding who he really was. This happens to all of us when we let ourselves be led by what we think of ourselves. We’re going to think we're the best. This is why when a problem happens out of nowhere, we don’t understand why, or when someone says something about us, we feel a certain way, as if we are being wronged; after all, the heart told us how good we are... when we’re really just tiny fleas.
The truth is that we do not know ourselves as much as God knows us, and sometimes the people around us notice certain behaviour we never even imagined having. Who wants to evaluate himself ? Who wants to delve deeper into himself and get to know himself better? Who wants to find what is wrong within himself ? This is why the heart wins so much prominence! He does not want this to happen, so he quickly brings us good arguments to justify our mistakes...
"Everyone makes mistakes!"
"Nobody is perfect!" "You're only human!"
"Nobody's a saint, right?"
And because we like to see ourselves with good eyes, we willingly accept these excuses.
But, what if we did not listen to our hearts and asked ourselves, “What do I do that does not please God?”
Did you know that the closer we come to God, the more we see our mistakes? Do you know why? Because God is the Light of the world, and the light reveals what is in the dark. And, because we do not want to expose ourselves, we turn away from Him like the rich young man, and evaluate ourselves at our own discretion... "After all, we're not harming anyone!"
However, let's take another look at the proverb above: "Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty..." It is when we hide behind our 'good deeds' that we are destroyed. But the rest of the verse reveals the solution: "...before honor is humility."
Don't hide behind your own criteria, how good and dear you have been, be humble and acknowledge your faults that displease God... when you are rude, when you complain, your laziness, your gossiping tongue, your bad eyes, your pride and greed...
This is the humility to recognise who we really are. You may even get sad, but do not leave like the rich young man did; instead, change.
We are like a flea before God. We should not be proud of who we are. In fact, we should be humbled. Only then will God do His work in our lives.