Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Ian Rees, Bath, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Part 3 of 11 of the series Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World

Precious Seed

‘Let another man praise thee and not thine own mouth; a stranger and not thine own lips’, Prov. 27. 2.

There is surely nothing more insufferable than having to listen to someone who is full of himself.The most unpopular person is not necessarily the one with whom we disagree or have little in common. It is the one who does nothing but talk about himself and tell the whole world how great he is. Humility becomes us: pride and vanity demean.

But it must not be a false humility.That is easily detected and just as unacceptable. And it is possible to praise ourselves in a variety of different ways. Name-dropping is one of them, when we casually but deliberately try to raise our standing by mentioning who we know or where we have been. A sense of self-worth can also be shown by a desire to put ourselves in important positions, or to sit at ‘the top table’. It was the Lord who said it is better to take a humble seat at a dinner and to be invited to ‘come up higher’ than to sit at the top table and be sent down.

An old but wise man once commented, ‘Praise is a handsome garment.But though you may wear it, another must put it on you, or else it will never sit well on you … praise is a rich treasure, but it will never make you rich unless someone else speaks it about you’.When speaking of himself, John the Baptist said he was only a voice, and that he was unworthy even to unloose the latchet of Christ’s sandals, a task which was done in those days by the lowliest slave.Yet Christ said of John that he was the greatest of all that had been born of women,Matt. 11. 11.

Self-praise stems from vanity. It is easy for us to look down on others and think how much more superior we are in terms of gift and talent. The proper attitude is for each one of us to esteem others better than ourselves, Phil. 2. 3. It is easy, too, for us to see others’ failures and think we will never be like them.Yet it takes a humble and careful man to say, as another once said, ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’. And if the poet was right when he said, ‘O that God the gift would gi’e us, to see ourselves as others see us’, how much more important it is for us to see ourselves as God sees us. In His presence we cannot but be humbled as we see what we really are. It is good to remember that a person actually only is what they are in quiet before God, not what they appear to be in public before men. The proud Pharisee was full of himself when he said,‘I thank thee I am not as other men . . . I fast, I give, I . . .’ If, however, we pray as the humble publican, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner’, we shall have praise from God, for ‘he that humbleth himself shall be exalted, but he that exalteth himself shall be made low’, Luke 18. 9-14.

AUTHOR PROFILE: IAN REES saw an assembly planted in Francistown, Botswana, having served the Lord there for 13 years. Now based in the UK, he was in fellowship in Manvers Hall, Bath, one of his commending assemblies. He has now moved to establish a new assembly in Tenby, West Wales. He is married and has seven children.

There are 26 articles in
ISSUE (2004, Volume 59 Issue 4)

Biblical Forgiveness

Celebrating 100 years of service for The Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust

Choice Gleanings

Editorial

An Experience in Open Air Gospel Testimony

Heroes of the Faith

The Fruit of the Spirit is

The God of all Comfort - Reflections on Isaiah

The God of all Grace

Who made God?

Gospel Work and other Activities

Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23. 2

He Opened to us the Scripture

Hezekiah’s Confession

Is it right for a Christian to drink alcohol?

A Life of Faith and Works

A History of the Assembly atManor Road Hall, Guildford, England

Peter’s ‘Precious Points’

The Poetry

Power and Freedom by the Spirit

Red Sky at Night

Reverence in the Local Assembly - An Important and Increasing Need

Studies in 2 Thessalonians

Windows on Worship

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 11 articles in this series

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 31 articles by this author

‘Wonna bet?’

What can God do?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

What does God know?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Who made God?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

What does God look like?

What does God look like?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Is God ever unfair?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Is God ever unkind?

Behaving ourselves in the house of God

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

IN MY PLACE

Abortion - The Moral Maze

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Stepping stones . . . through the Bible day by day

A Brief History of the Authorised (King James) Version

How God Called Me to Full-time Service

Characters Around the Crucifixion

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Ciaphas who Sacrificed Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 3 - Peter Who Denied Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 4 - Herod who Mocked Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion. Part 5 Pilate Who Condemned Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 6 - Simon Who Helped Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - The Thief who turned to Him - Part 7