The idea of seeking glory is often spoken of with scorn; it’s more common to be admonished to leave our life and our ambition behind for the sake of the gospel. There is of course something to this, we are told to lay our lives down in order to gain life.
But true humility is not thinking little of oneself. It is thinking of ourselves properly. Humility is seeing life through a lens of truth. Self-hatred is not humility. It is a twisted form of self-seeking. Being humble is about seeing oneself truly. No more and no less.
We all want glory. And scripture tells us how to get it: we find genuine glory when we reflect God. It is the great beauty of the gospel that God has invited us to abide in his vine and be the bearers of the fruit he produces. We aren’t necessary. But we are included. And one of the best ways to reflect the glory of our Creator is by being patient, slow to anger. As he is.
This verse says discretion slows our anger. Discretion is intertwined with humility, because it is also based on seeing reality as it is. When we see reality as it is, we realize anger does not exert true control over our surroundings. When we are wronged, we can retaliate, or we can forgive. Forgiveness adds to our glory because we act in a way that replicates, recognizes, and reiterates the God of Glory.
We are made in God’s image, and when we reflect his nature, we inherit his glory. When we choose that perspective, it can motivate us from anger to patience, and from bitterness to forgiveness. The world might think us a sucker. But the reality is this is a source of true glory.
“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”
– Proverbs 19:11