Posts Tagged ‘pride’
“This is the one I esteem:
He who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2
This Bible verse from Isaiah is really cool. One main reason why I love it is because it uses the word esteem. Esteem means to honor, to lift up, to put in the spotlight. That’s a pretty cool word picture. God very rarely says that He will esteem someone. But here in this Bible verse, He gives the criteria for the person whom He will esteem. In another post, we went through a verse that said that the sacrifices that God wants from us are a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Here again in this verse, we see that God esteems the one who has a humble and contrite spirit. So what does contrite mean anyway? It’s very similar to things like humility, meekness, and surrender. In my mind a contrite spirit is one who is humble and stands with the fear of the Lord.
But what about the second part of the verse? What does it mean to tremble at the word of God? Obviously trembling is a synonym of fear, and people only generally tremble in the presence of something powerful. When I see that phrase, “who trembles at my word,” in my mind it brings the idea that we first fully realize how powerful God’s word is, that it isn’t just some book written thousands of years ago to a people group a lot different from us. Rather, it’s powerful and relevant for today, and has the ability to change our lives if we’ll give it the respect and attention it deserves. That’s what the phrase means to me.
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3
I used to reflect on this Bible verse a lot, wondering in what ways I thought arrogantly about myself. I’m sure that we all do. Most of us don’t have the humility to think of ourselves in sober judgement. It’s so easy to see other people’s faults; so difficult to notice our own. But anyone who calls themselves a Christian really needs to take an honest look at their lives and find ways to build humility into their character. That’s interesting that Paul says, according to the measure of faith that God has given you. Faith then, becomes a criteria for humility. If God has given you a lot of faith and the desire to follow Him and forsake your own selfish desires, be grateful and humble, for you are blessed. If God has only given you a small measure of faith, and it’s so difficult for you to follow Him, be humble and ask for more and for the desire to change.
Sadly however, so often we don’t think of ourselves with sober judgment. Because of the fact that God has gifted many of us in many different ways, it’s so easy to see the talents and gifts that God has given us and to look down on those who seem to be doing less. But that’s why I love parables like the one Jesus told about the talents. He said that some servants were given 5 talents, others 3, and still others 1 talent. Those who were given 5 talents were expected to produce more than those who were given 3 and 1 talent. That always convicts me, because whenever I’m tempted to think that someone else is doing less than I am, I can’t escape the thought that maybe that person was given less than I’ve been given. When I think about it like that, it helps me to have a correct opinion about myself. I know that I’ve been given a lot. And to him who has been given much, much will be required. So do not think about yourselves more highly than you ought.