Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord - In James 4:7; they were exhorted to submit to God; here they are exhorted to humble themselves in his sight. Submission to God's authority will precede humiliation of soul, and genuine repentance is performed as in the sight of God; for when a sinner is truly awakened to a sense of his guilt and danger, he seems to see, whithersoever he turns, the face of a justly incensed God turned against him.
He shall lift you up - Mourners and penitents lay on the ground, and rolled themselves in the dust. When comforted and pardoned, they arose from the earth, shook themselves from the dust, and clothed themselves in their better garments. God promises to raise these from the dust, when sufficiently humbled.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord - Compare Matthew 23:12. See the notes at James 4:6. That is, be willing to take your appropriate place in the dust on account of your transgressions. This is to be “in the sight of the Lord,” or before him. Our sins have been committed against him; and their principal aggravation, whoever may have been wronged by them, and great as is their criminality in other respects, arises from that consideration. Psalm 51:4, “against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” Luke 15:18, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.” As the Being against whom we have sinned is the only one who can pardon, it is proper that we should humble ourselves before him with penitent confession.
And he shall lift you up - He will exalt you from the condition of a broken-hearted penitent to that of a forgiven child; will wipe away your tears, remove the sadness of your heart, fill you with joy, and clothe you with the garments of salvation. This declaration is in accordance with all the promises in the Bible, and with all the facts which occur on the earth, that God is willing to show mercy to the humble and contrite, and to receive those who are truly penitent into his favor. Compare Luke 15:22.
The Lord has men of His appointment whom He will use in His work so long as they allow themselves to be used in accordance with His good pleasure. He can never use any one who is seeking to humble someone else. Humble yourselves, brethren. When you do this, it is possible for holy angels to communicate with you, and place you on vantage ground. Then your experience, instead of being faulty, will be filled with happiness. Seek to relate yourselves in harmony with God's leadings, and then you will be susceptible to the movings of His Holy Spirit. TDG 35.6Read in context »
Pride of talent, pride of intellect, cannot exist in hearts that are hid with Christ in God.... Then let us humble ourselves, and adore Jesus, but never, never, exalt self in the least degree.... If the motive of all our life is to serve and honor Christ and bless humanity in the world, then the dreariest path of duty will become a bright way—a path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.27 TMK 176.4Read in context »
You have a great work to do. You have been too slack in your deportment. Your words have not been elevated, chaste, and pure. You have been separating from the divine, and cultivating the baser passions. The intellectual and noble powers of your mind have been brought into subjection to the animal passions. You have not pursued a right course for some time. You have not abstained from every appearance of evil. It is not safe for you to pursue this course any longer. 2T 304.1
You have not loved your wife as you should. She is a good woman. She has seen, in a small measure, your danger. But you have closed your ears to her cautions. You have thought her jealous, but this is not her nature. She loves you, and will bear with you, and forgive and love you, notwithstanding the deep wrong you have done her, if you will only press to the light and make clean work of the past. You must have a thorough conversion. Unless you do, all your past efforts to obey the truth will not save you nor cover up your past wrongs. Jesus requires of you a thorough reformation; then He will help, and bless, and love you, and blot out your sins with His own most precious blood. You can redeem the past. You can correct your ways and yet be an honor to the cause of God. You can do good when you take hold of the strength of God and in His name work—work for your own salvation and for the good of others. 2T 304.2
Yours can yet be a happy family. Your wife needs your help. She is like a clinging vine; she wants to lean upon your strength. You can help her and lead her along. You should never censure her. Never reprove her if her efforts are not what you think they should be. Rather encourage her by words of tenderness and love. You can help your wife to preserve her dignity and self-respect. Never praise the work or acts of others before her to make her feel her deficiencies. You have been harsh and unfeeling in this respect. You have shown greater courtesy to your hired help than to her and have placed them ahead of her in the house. 2T 305.1Read in context »