My Musings – We usually think that a broken spirit is a negative thing. But how could God possibly forgive a proud and rebellious spirit? The text implies that God actually despises such a spirit. Genuine contrition (feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming) is not possible absent a humble and penitent heart.
My Advice – Do not allow a proud or rebellious spirit get in the way of a humble and penitent heart.
1 Peter 5:5 – Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. Clothe yourself in humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We should never be too proud to learn from the age and experience of others. This includes those who may be younger than we are chronologically, but more mature than we are in the faith.
My Advice – You’ve learned much in school, but there is much also to be learned from those who are older and have more experience. Continue to learn now that you have graduated, and even later in life when you are the elder one with more experience.
James 3:5-6 – The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The tongue can do more damage than many destructive and lethal weapons.
My Advice – Keep your tongue in check. It will keep you from a lot of grief and hurt feelings that are hard to undo.
2 Timothy 3:1 – There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – It is a bit sobering to go down this list and realize how descriptive it is of the times we live in today. It is also interesting that when describing how terrible the last days will be, he did not focus on war, pestilence, natural disaster, plagues, etc…. Rather he focused on the human condition.
My Advice – This is a laundry list of the ways not to be. The best way to avoid turning into any of these things is to focus on the last item and make sure that is what we are- a lover of God.
Philippians 2:2-5 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Ambition is fine, as long as it is not driven by selfishness. Humility does not mean you have to have a low opinion of yourself, just don’t be conceited and drive others down. It is okay to look out for your own interests as long as you don’t do it at the expense of others.
My Advice – Watch yourself in your career that you do not become driven by selfish ambition. Do not let success make you vain and conceited. Don’t walk over others to advance yourself. Help others at work.
Luke 6:41 – “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – It is human nature to focus on the faults of others while overlooking our own. Perhaps we would have more compassion and understanding for others if we paid more attention to our own?
My Advice – Do not be so critical of others that you fail to see your own shortcomings.
Obadiah 1:3, 4 – “The pride of your heart has deceived you…you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like an eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Pride is a strong narcotic and can deceive us to such a point that we think we do not need God, or least to the point where we forget about Him. When this happens He may have to bring us down, to get us to look up.
My Advice – Never get so full of yourself that you need to be taken down a notch. Better to be humble so that He can rather lift you up.