Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wise in My Own Eyes

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7).

Josh Harris blogged last week about what it means to be wise in your own eyes. A few personal suggestions he offered: "I am wise in my own eyes..."
  • "When I don’t pause to pray for God’s guidance on a decision."
  • "When I fail to depend on God’s word and approach it as a daily 'lamp to my feet and a light to my path' (Ps. 119:105)."
  • "When I am critical of another person’s practice or perspective without taking the time to understand it and ask questions."
  • "When I am lax in fleeing temptation, assuming that I’m adult enough to 'handle it.'"
  • "When I do something right and fail to acknowledge before God that it is only his grace that allowed me to do it right."
  • "When I pat myself on the back about knowledge I have that I learned from someone else."
  • "When I don’t draw out, or seek to understand, a person who is bringing criticism (whether or not it’s being brought constructively)."
  • "When I assume that the truth of a sermon is for someone else, not my own life."
He goes on to say:
Until I see God and fear him, I cannot see myself rightly. When my view of him is clouded, when I’m a functional atheist, I will trust and applaud my own wisdom. But when I rightly fear God—when I see him for who he is as the all-seeing, all-powerful Holy One to whom I will answer—I will see myself as weak, dependent, and in need of heavenly wisdom. When I fear God, I will shun the evil of pride and self-sufficiency.
As I study the fear of the LORD and continue to battle pride in my own heart, this verse, and this post, strike a nerve in me. It's that whole issue of what I say I believe versus what I live like I believe--too often, not the same. I would certainly affirm that God is omnipotent, sovereign, the only wise God. But how often the choices I make proclaim that I believe I am sovereign and all-knowing. How do I proclaim this?
  • When I rush to add my opinions or stories to a conversation instead of quietly listening to what others have to say
  • When I mentally deride people for the arrogant way they argue, as if they have God and the Bible all figured out perfectly
  • When I get irritated with Steve because he doesn't do something my way
  • When I open the Word without asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate it and increase my understanding

I pray that God will give me the grace to trust and applaud His wisdom, not my own--to humbly fear Him and shun self-exaltation.

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