Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones (Prov 3:7-8).
On Wednesdays, in Family Wisdom, I am writing about my favorite Proverbs. I have wanted to compile a list for a long time and am doing it here, with you. But at this point it seems that I will be writing about most of the Book of Proverbs!
Today, we are in familiar territory. I have written about the fear of the LORD before, in a post here. I said this: Fear of God leads to wisdom because it reminds us of our place; it humbles us. When we are humble, we are ready to receive wisdom and instruction from Him; we acknowledge that we need Him and we desire to be obedient.
Humble people are not wise in their own eyes. Prideful people are wise in their own eyes. But we must be careful. Our pride often sneaks up on us. If you are paying attention, you can see it coming. Here are some ways I have seen pride in myself. These are the times when I may, or may not, have thought to myself, You’re not the boss of me!:
- When someone makes an innocent suggestion to me that I don’t agree with, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride.
- When someone “steps on my toes”, intentionally trying to control me or my behavior, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride.
- When someone gives me constructive criticism, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride.
- When someone gives me harsh and unfair criticism, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride
- When someone doesn’t notice hard work that I have done, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride.
- When someone asks me to do more than I feel that I can do, and it immediately irritates me – this is pride
Are we beginning to see a pattern here? If we are to love, like Christ has loved us, we will not be easily irritated. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful (1 Cor 13:4-5).
And there is no need to enter into power struggles, even with people who are trying to control us or hurt us. And other people, even Christians, do try to control us or hurt us…this is human nature! We can choose what controls us – by living according to the Word and not according to the World. It is sometimes as simple as thinking different thoughts. When we remember the Word, we are able to put things into better perspective:
- Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:8-9). Here is the promise of peace…just like we see in today’s Proverb, choosing His way leads to: healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones (Prov 3:7-8).
- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col 3:17).
- If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1)
As I have said recently, my feelings are the battleground – and when it is hard to do the right things with people, I try to remember that ultimately I am doing them for God. At least, this is the lesson I am in the process of learning now…what about you?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!