Tag Archives: humility

Haughty Eyes

There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19, NIV*

Most of these are self-explanatory, but the first one makes me stop and think.

Haughty eyes? The Message translation calls them arrogant.

  • Looking down on others?
  • Critical or judgmental opinions of them based on appearance and behaviour?
  • An elevated perspective of oneself?
  • How about considering what we perceive, our take on the circumstances, as the truth? As more accurate or enlightened than anyone else’s?

Most of us can be tempted by the first three, although we try our best not to live that way. The fourth one strikes closer to home for me. It’s the opposite of a verse I’m trying to learn to apply:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV*

It comes so naturally. But the New Testament says we’re to walk by faith, not by sight.

LORD, please help us remember that our sight is limited and even faulty. Help us remember to choose to trust Your way instead of going our own way. Because of Jesus, Amen.

Let this week’s song be our prayer: “Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche. I had the privilege of seeing him and Robin Mark in concert recently and it was wonderful… and worshipful.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What if I’m the Offender?

Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.
1 Peter 4:1a-2, MSG*

Last week I wrote about our call to be a blessing to others, and followed it up with a comment about an experience I’d had with someone who was not a blessing to me. The LORD used that experience to show me how important it is to be a blessing.

Silly me, thought I got the message. Until that very evening, when I still hadn’t had time to do some writing I’d wanted to finish the day before… and not one but two people I care about wanted to spend time with me.

I remembered Peter’s words about trusting everything to God to work it out in His timing (1 Peter 2:23). But I didn’t really let it go, and as my frustration grew, I definitely wasn’t a blessing to anybody.

God proved His grace to me and got me back on track in the way these people (who are two of the sweetest folks I know) each showed extra care to me as my frustration grew. For once I readjusted quickly and didn’t spoil the whole evening, but I did miss out on some quality time. God is growing me, but it sure is a slow process.

Next morning I went back to the blessing verses again, to make myself feel worse or to find help I don’t know, but it did both. 1 Peter 3:15a says, “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master.” MSG*

I read on into chapter 4 and found the verses above. “…free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.” This is exactly the opposite of what I experienced: the frustration of not getting to my agenda. God wanted me to work on relationships, but I wanted to work on writing.

Father, Help me commit this day to You, to follow Jesus’ example and trust Your leading. Help me keep my heart at attention, in adoration before Jesus Christ, my Master, and to live free to pursue what You want instead of being tyrannized by what I want. Thank You for your grace and forgiveness.

Sometimes we all need Bebo Norman’s “Disappear” to be our prayer.

*The Message MSG Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9, MSG*

Our job is to bless. And we can only do this in the power of the Holy Spirit, as He enables us to follow Jesus’ example and commit our lives to the God who judges justly.

No victim mentality or martyred airs—living confident in God, with our hope securely in Him.

Peter says then people will wonder how we can carry on so well in life’s stress. When they ask the reason for our hope, we can gently tell them how Jesus sustains us.

Father, please help me fix my heart on You, live confident in You, and live to be a blessing.

I love the way John Waller articulates the choice between blessing and cursing in his song, “The Blessing.”

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

God is on the Job

Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
1 Peter 4:12-13, MSG*

Peter tells us to commit ourselves to our faithful Creator and continue to do good (1 Peter 4:19). And our doing good is to be with a willing heart (1 Peter 5:2).

Instead of fighting—our own circumstances, God, others or ourselves—Peter says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7 NIV**)

Peter wrote to strengthen the persecuted believers, for their own sakes and so that the people around them would see Jesus in their behaviour and attitudes. We can apply what he says, the principles and the hope, to our daily stresses and relationships.

Father, help me remember daily to commit myself to You, to live in trust of Your hand on my life. Help me recognize You in my day, help me serve You with a willing heart. Help me treat others with the love You desire. Thank You for taking care of me. Your grace is amazing.

Songs like Bebo Norman‘s “I Will Lift My Eyes” help me pray and keep focused on trusting God.

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

**New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.