Monday, December 19, 2011

Faith Test for Christian Writers, Part 4

Let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~James 3:13-18

We are continuing our study of this passage from James. Today we are specifically examining “do not boast.” The following story shows the dangers of boasting:

A lion and a tiger were drinking beside a river when the lion let out a huge roar. The tiger said, "Why do you roar like a fool?" 

"That's not foolish," said the lion, with a twinkle in his eyes. "They call me king of all the beasts because I advertise."

A rabbit heard them talking and ran home. He thought he'd try the lion's plan, but his roar was just a squeak. A fox came to investigate and ate the rabbit for lunch.  The moral of the story: When you advertise, be sure you've got the goods and can deliver them.

There is nothing wrong in recognizing our abilities, as the lion does in this story. We do need to realize where our abilities come from.

All our ability comes directly or indirectly from God. We make the choices of how to use the ability he gives us, but God gives us the raw talent or the opportunities to develop talent.

Proverbs 9:23 tells us: A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

So, what does it mean to be humble?

According to Charles Spurgeon, Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self.

And William Temple tells us: Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts.  It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all. 

All that matters is that we strive to please God. We humble ourselves so God can and will lift us up.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. ~Proverbs 11:2

One of my former preachers, Raymond Elliott said this: We can have respect for self without conceit; concern for self without selfishness; love of self without vanity.

After all, the Bible does say to love others as we love ourselves. It’s okay to know our abilities and even to advertise when necessary—in a humble manner.

Our job is to become the best us we can be.

When we become right for God, we can write for God in the manner he wants us to. Without boasting.

Right for God; write for God.

No boasting necessary!


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