The less you think of yourselves — the more will you esteem Christ!
(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)
I wish you to think little, very little of yourselves. Why?
Because the less you think of yourselves — the more will you esteem Christ.
Because the humbler you are in your own eyes — the higher you will stand in God's eyes.
The guest, who, coming modestly in, takes the lowest place at the table — is called up to the seat of honor.
None are so sure to lie in Jesus' bosom — as those who have been lying lowest at Jesus' feet.
Hence, brought by grace to see sin's vileness, and to feel its exceeding evil . . .
the holiest men — have always been the humblest,
the strongest men — have always felt the weakest in themselves,
the best men — have always thought the worst of themselves.
David, the man after God's own heart, said, "I was as a beast before You!"
Job, the most remarkable character of his own or any age for piety and uprightness, said, as he shrank from his own image, "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes!"
And Paul, though the greatest of all the apostles, much too great as well as honest, to fish for compliments and depreciate himself that others might praise him — spoke of himself not as the least, but as less than the least, of all saints.
The tree grows best skyward, which grows most downward. Just so, the lower the saint grows in humility — the higher he grows in holiness. The soaring corresponds to the sinking.
The humble man's heartfelt prayer shall be, "O my God, I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face to You! I am glad to enter Heaven at the back of the wicked Manasseh, or the immoral woman, or the thief of the cross. God be merciful to me a sinner!"