Below is a sermon message I heard years ago which offers some very interesting wisdom.
Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite (repentant/changed) heart. These, O God, You will not despise.”
The truth is everyone of us has had proud moments in our lives; graduating from high school or college, securing that first good paying job, etc. And maybe many of you reading this have experienced a time in your life when you’ve felt completely broken and hopeless!
It’s important to note that the “proud people” referenced below are people who have taken their pride to unhealthy levels. See if you can relate to one side or the other, or both!
Proud people focus on the failure of others. Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
Proud people are self-righteous; have a critical, fault-finding spirit; look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. Broken people are compassionate; can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven; esteem all others better than themselves.
Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. Broken people have a dependent spirit; recognize their need for others.
Proud people have to prove that they are right. Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
Proud people claim rights; have a demanding spirit. Broken people yield their rights; have a meek spirit, not a weak spirit.
Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation. Broken people are self-denying.
Proud people desire to be served. Broken people are motivated to serve others.
Proud people desire to be a success. Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.
Proud people desire self-advancement. Broken people desire to promote others.
Proud people feel confident in how much they know. Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.
Proud people are self-conscious. Broken people are not concerned with self at all.
Proud people keep others at arms’ length. Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to risks of loving intimately.
Proud people are quick to blame others. Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see when they are wrong in a situation.
Proud people are defensive when criticized. Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.
Proud people are concerned with being respectable, what others think; work to protect their own image and reputation. Broken people are concerned with being real; what they care about and what matters to them is not what others think, but what God knows; are willing to die to their own reputation.
Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs. Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others.
Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; instinct is to cover up. Broken people don’t care who knows or who finds out; are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.
Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you forgive me?” Broken people are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.
Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got caught. Broken people are genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.
Proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in relationships. Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is a misunderstanding or a conflict in relationships.
Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor. Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for mercy.
Proud people are blind to their true heart condition and don’t think they have anything to repent of. Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.
Proud people don’t think they need revival and are sure that everyone else does. Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God.
If you are a God-fearing individual, then the message is clear. God is pleased with a person who recognizes his/her sinful nature and brokenness, and who sincerely desires a change of heart and mind. A heart and mind willing to flee from all kinds of evil and hold fast to what is good.
See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!