Do you seek you great things for yourself?

(J. C. Philpot, "Life Given for a Prey" 1868)

"Do you seek you great things for yourself?
 Seek them not!"
Jeremiah 45:5

O the pride of man's heart! How it will work and show
itself even under a guise of religion and holiness!

Few can see that in religion, what are considered
great things—are really very little; and what are
considered little—are really very great.
How few can see that . . .
  a broken heart,
  a contrite spirit,
  a humble mind,
  a tender conscience,
  a meek, quiet, and patient bearing of the cross,
  a believing submission and resignation to the will of God,
  a looking to Him alone, for all supplies in providence and grace,
  a continual seeking of His face,
  a desiring nothing so much as the visitations of His favor,
  a loving, affectionate, forbearing, and forgiving spirit,
  a bearing of injuries and reproaches without retaliation,
  a liberal heart and hand, and
  a godly, holy, and separate life and walk—
are the things which in God's sight are great.
While a knowledge of doctrine, clear insight into
gospel mysteries, and a ready speech are really
very little things—and are often to be found side
by side and hand in hand with a proud, covetous,
worldly, unhumbled spirit, and a living in what is
sinful and evil.

**Bonus quote! For pastors only.

"Do you seek you great things for yourself?
 Seek them not!"
Jeremiah 45:5

How many ministers are seeking after great gifts
thirsting after popularity, applause, and acceptance
among men! They are not satisfied with being
simply and solely what God may make them by
His Spirit and gracewith the blessing which He
may make them to a scattered few here and there.
This inferior position, as they consider it, so beneath
their grace and gifts, their talents and abilitiesdoes
not satisfy their restless mind and aspiring desires.
Their ambition is . . .
  to stand at the very head of their peers,
  be looked up to and sought after as a leader and a guide,
  have a larger building,
  have a fuller congregation,
  have a better salary, and
  have a wider field for the display of their gifts and abilities.
Gladly would they . . .
  stand apart from all others,
  brook no rival to their 'pulpit throne', and
  be lord paramount at home and abroad.

And what is the consequence of this proud, ambitious
spirit? What envy, what jealousy, what detraction do
we see in men who want to stand at the top of the tree!
How, again and again, do they seek to rise by standing,
as it wereon the slain bodies of others!

"Do you seek you great things for yourself?
 Seek them not!"
Jeremiah 45:5