I have been considering some verses in Proverbs today. The phrase “wise in your own conceit” caught my eye in Chapter 26 verses 12 and 16. They say:
12. “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”
16. “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit that seven men can render a reason.”
I pulled out my good old “new” Webster’s Dictionary which had traveled to Florida to college with my son but now has returned for the summer. The curled edges of the cover revealed that in reality it had been well used…oh joy! Webster defined conceit as: (1)a result of mental activity, (2) individual opinion.
Hmmm. Wise in my own mental activity…wise in my own individual opinion? Too close to home for me. I wondered how many times I had been involved in my own mental activity and valued my own individual opinion. Is it good to be known as a person who “speaks their mind.” No. It is good to be known as a person who has the mind of Christ. Is it valuable to be a person with “strong opinions?” According to Proverbs, it is not….when that opinion is the result of one’s own individual mental activity. In reality….who cares what I think? We should care what Jesus thinks. And what Jesus thinks is usually not what my mind is “thinking.” Love my enemy? Do good to those who despitefully use you? Hmmm. Let each esteem the other better than himself? Arrgggh.
I was confronted today with truth. Truth that I am “wise in my own conceits”. I must choose to submit my opinions to the living word. The final Word. The mind of Christ. Peace does not come when our mind is active with the supporting and reinforcement of my own opinion. Peace comes (perfect peace) when my mind is stayed on Christ.
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep Him (or Her …thank you Jesus!) in perfect peace who’s mind is stayed on thee.” (KJV)
“Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (vs. 5 of Philippians 2). We read in verse 3 of the same chapter a cameo of what that will cause in our own mind. ”Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.” It continues in verse 7 ….”but made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant….” (KJV)
Life does not always flow well with Scripture. Usually that doubled edged sword cuts us across the grain …leaving frayed edges that show how our own flesh isn’t willing to give in easily. But cut us it does. It cuts self right out … if we let it. Like cutting off a rotting section of meat so the rest can be preserved.
I’m so thankful for the Word of God that does not leave me to myself and my own conceited opinions. The hymn “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” is my prayer today.
“May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day, By His love and power controlling All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph Only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything, That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory.
May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win, And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.”