For whosoever exalteth himself, etc. - This is the unchangeable conduct of God: he is ever abasing the proud, and giving grace, honor, and glory to the humble.
Whosoever exalteth - This is universal among people, and it is also the way in which God will deal with people. “Men” will perpetually endeavor to bring down those who endeavor to exalt themselves; and it is a part of God‘s regular plan to abase the proud, to bring down the lofty, to raise up those that be bowed down, and show “his” favors to those who are poor and needy.
Why do we not have the consciousness of sins forgiven? It is because we are unbelieving. We are not practicing the teachings of Christ and bringing His virtues into our lives. Should the joy and exaltation and hope imparted by the Lord Jesus Christ be given to many of us, it would administer to self-esteem and pride. When Jesus is abiding in the heart by faith, the lessons which Christ has given us will be practiced. We will have such exalted views of Jesus Christ that self will be abased. Our affections will center in Jesus, our thoughts will be strongly drawn heavenward. Christ will increase, I will decrease. TDG 261.3Read in context »
The Lord sees, the Lord knows. He will certainly humble all such aspirations; for He hates pride and selfishness and covetousness. The more prosperous the work may be in itself, the less appropriate is it for men to exalt themselves, as though they were the ones who should be lifted up. Our trust must be in God. He has entrusted men with abilities and capabilities, that they may act a prominent part in His work. Let them take heed how they shall exalt themselves.... TDG 193.3Read in context »
Let no one exalt himself, talking of himself, extolling his abilities, displaying his knowledge, and cultivating self-conceit. Let no one seek to tear down the work of others who do not labor according to his standard. The heavenly Teacher gives us the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Christ was never self-confident, bigoted, or self-conceited. He declared, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19).... TDG 132.2
No man has a right to call himself his own. And no man possesses any good thing that he can call his own. Every man, every thing, is the property of the Lord. All that man receives from the bounty of heaven is still the Lord's. Whatever we have that is of value, we should use for the benefit of our fellowmen, in order that they shall become valuable workers. Every energy, every endowment, is a talent that should contribute to God's glory by being used in His service. Our God-given capabilities should not be made to serve selfish ends. We should always be willing to impart, letting others know all that we know; and we should rejoice, if they in their work develop an energy and an intelligence superior to that which we possess. TDG 132.3
God's gifts are not to be used for the exaltation of self, but are to be put out to the exchangers, so that He shall receive His own with usury. Let not one attempt to secure greatness, happiness, or self-gratification by diverting from their proper use the powers with which he is endowed; for by so doing he dishonors the Giver, and fails of fulfilling the purpose for which he was created. All our powers come from God, and should be used to His glory.... TDG 132.4
No one has the least cause for boasting. No one has any reason to glorify or exalt self, even when one does his very best.—Letter 10, May 3, 1884, to a pioneer minister in Denmark. TDG 132.5Read in context »
It is no degradation for man to bow down before his Maker and confess his sins, and plead for forgiveness through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. It is noble to acknowledge your wrong before Him whom you have wounded by transgression and rebellion. It lifts you up before men and angels; for “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” But he who kneels before fallen man and opens in confession the secret thoughts and imaginations of his heart is dishonoring himself by debasing his manhood and degrading every noble instinct of his soul. In unfolding the sins of his life to a priest corrupted with wine and licentiousness his standard of character is lowered, and he is defiled in consequence. God is degraded in his thought to the likeness of sinful humanity, for the priest stands as a representative of God. It is this degrading confession of man to fallen man that accounts for much of the increasing evil which is defiling the world and fitting it for final destruction. 5T 638.1
Says the apostle: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” This scripture has been interpreted to sustain the practice of going to the priest for absolution; but it has no such application. Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God because the brother whom you wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer. The case is not brought before the priest at all, but before the only true mediator, our great High Priest, who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” and who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” and is able to cleanse from every stain of iniquity. 5T 639.1
When David sinned against Uriah and his wife, he pleaded before God for forgiveness. He declares: “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.” All wrong done to others reaches back from the injured one to God. Therefore David seeks for pardon, not from a priest, but from the Creator of man. He prays: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” 5T 639.2Read in context »