2 Timothy 3; Jeremiah 9-10; Psalm 123
How easy it is to look at our accomplishments and think about how wonderful we are. Have you ever entertained the though, if only for a fleeting second, that God was lucky that you decided to serve Him? That reaction is really pretty normal for people. We begin to think highly of ourselves, forgetting that God gives us all the abilities and strengths that we have. Jeremiah put things in perspective when he spoke these words: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24) How often do we think about our own cleverness in arguments with others; how often do we see others flaunting their wealth – because of course, we wouldn’t do that; how often do we revel in our strength or see others who do? In truth, all of those attributes are fleeting; they will pass away. What endures will be God. What endures will be our relationship with God. What we should really glory in is knowing God and His ways. What we should really delight in is not only knowing God’s ways, but doing them. We recognize God’s mercy, judgment and righteousness; we need to practice them. We should show mercy to others; we should judge our own actions and get them in line with God’s plan; we should live lives of godly righteousness based not on our own strength, but God’s. That is what will bring delight to God.
Oh Lord, how often I think about how clever I am to have bested someone else in a battle of wits, not stopping to think about how it might affect them. Help me not to take pleasure in things that I do in my own strength and ability but to glory in Your mercy, Your judgment and Your righteousness. May I always show those qualities in my life.