October 15, 2017

Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 15, 2017

When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.  2 Samuel 17:23

Don’t take yourself so seriously, but take the Lord very seriously. It is tempting to have an inflated regard of our own views. We think our opinions are extra special. We expect everyone to believe that what we think is most important, or even preferred. What started out as humble recommendations for others to consider grew into mandates, from our point of view.

Unfortunately, this type of conditional counsel and authoritative advice is driven by pride. The gift of discernment and wisdom is a great stewardship that requires a spirit of humility and graciousness. Otherwise, no one will be able to hear our insights over the roar of our arrogance. God does not need more self-appointed gurus; He desires humble servants who will submit to Him as vessels of truth.

We set ourselves up for rejection and unreasonable expectations if we rely on the affirmation of others for our validation. If we are not careful, we tie our value to the degree to which our views are accepted. Acceptance becomes a barometer for our self-worth. This is dangerous because our views, of course, are flawed. We are ever growing in our understanding and learning of God’s expansive truths.

If we are teachable and maturing, our views from the past will become more accurate in the present. For example, we will probably be less judgmental, and more motivated by mercy. We will most likely take ourselves less seriously, and God more seriously. And as we grow in grace, our words will build up more than tear down. Patience will become preeminent, and our inflated views will deflate, as we depend more on God.

Healthy perspectives are born out of dependence on God. Your belief about God determines the way you approach life. If you get this right, everything else comes into alignment. An open mind traps truth.  When you are convinced of a principle, clamp down on it with conviction. It is wise to be close-minded around your convictions, just make sure it is a conviction from God, and not just a personal preference. One truth you can depend on is that God is engaged in everyday life. The Almighty is not absent, but is alive and well.

Therefore, seek to lead others in seeing a grander view of God. Keep Christ the centerpiece of your counsel. Make the Lord the beginning and the end of your advice. If you lead people to be accountable to God, you are wise. If they ignore this insight, they miss their Master’s best. His view is the most valuable, so steer them toward the Almighty’s perspective.

The Bible says, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me take myself less seriously and You more seriously, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application

What idea or advice of mine do I need to let go of and trust the Holy Spirit is at work around me?

Related Reading

Proverbs 9:7-9, 16:2, 25, 19:20; Romans 12:9-13 Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.

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