Read Proverbs 16 - 19
In Today's Reading:
The values of pleasing the Lord and choosing wisdom
No one is naturally humble. Our human nature is permeated with pride passed down from Adam; only the indwelling Christ can develop true humility in our lives. This will manifest itself in kindness toward the unkind, long-suffering toward those who annoy us, and love toward our enemies. How inconsistent it is to think we have humbly given ourselves to Christ when we snub or react harshly to anyone.
The Lord leads us to see the end result of pride and false humility: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (Proverbs 16:18-19).
It is natural to think of ourselves as humble, at least more humble than others. But humility, or a lack of it, is apparent by our attitude when we are with someone who irritates us. If our replies are expressed in an unkind way, either outwardly in our words or actions or inwardly in our thoughts, then our "humility" is not real; it is a mere pious mask. Knowing the destructive power of pride, let us look upon people who seem difficult to love as those chosen by God to provide us with the opportunity to cleanse ourselves of self-righteousness and to express Christlike humility and the love of God.
Humble people will feel no jealousy or envy when they are ignored while others are praised. God reminds us: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (pride, empty conceit); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
The Christlike nature of a Christian moves him to not respond with a sharp, unfriendly attitude when differences of opinion exist. Personal views often create ill will. We are admonished: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (opinions) (Romans 12:16).
To be Christlike is to see others through the eyes of Jesus and to give equal consideration to all people, regardless of their race, position, abilities, or wealth, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
As the One who punishes the proud (Proverbs 16:5). Jesus said: Whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). As the Friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus is our Friend (John 15:14-15) and has promised: I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
16:2 spirits = motives; 16:8 without right = dishonestly gained; 17:18 striketh hands = gives a pledge to be responsible for his neighbor's debts; 18:2 discover itself = express itself; 18:3 with ignominy reproach = with dishonor and disgrace; 19:3 fretteth = is resentful; 19:7 they are wanting to him = they abandon him; 19:13 a continual dropping = an unending irritation.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Bob Schaffer (CO) · Country: Laos (5 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Lao and French · Great suppression of all Christian activities · 58% Buddhist; 33% belief in spirits and ancestor worship; 2% Christian; 1% Muslim
Prayer Suggestion: Children, ask the Lord to enable you to honor your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:20