As I said yesterday, the Holy Spirit is guiding me to look closely at my countenance and the true condition of my heart. I’m being called (and am listening to the Spirit) to walk more humbly. We are commanded to “be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet 5:5b-6).
So yesterday afternoon I was given the opportunity to put this into practice as someone I work with got irritated that I didn’t know to do something I hadn’t been told about. I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to become prideful and cop a bad attitude, but I tell you it’s human nature. I prayed about it, read some more in my book about being poor in spirit, and went to sleep after asking the Lord to take away my prideful feelings.
So this morning I received a God wink in the form of a text from my pastor: “‘Do not take to heart everything people say’ Eccl 7:21. Don’t let compliments go to your head and don’t let criticisms wound your heart.”
I like the passage in context in the Amplified Bible: “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins. Also, do not take seriously everything that is said, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you, for you also know that you too have cursed others many times.” (Eccl 7:20-22)
I could never begin to count how many times I’ve muttered under my breath about someone else’s words or actions. But the wisdom in the book of Proverbs tells us, “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.” (Prov 10:11-13)
I’m learning that to be humble, I must come to terms with how spiritually bankrupt I am, and that there’s nothing I can offer God to make me righteous. Which is why He sent His Son to pay the ransom for all who will believe in Him as Lord and Savior, repent of their sin, and become disciples of Jesus. I’m grateful for the real life application from yesterday afternoon and God’s reminder not to allow criticism to wound my heart. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Prov 4:23)