Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sometimes We Need to Sit Down and Shut Up !

I have a confession to make. To some who may be reading this I am old but to others I am actually still young. Without letting you know my actual age, let me just say that there are things in my life, which I have not yet been able to get a handle on. There are character flaws which haunt me every day. Prayer sometimes can be difficult because when I approach the throne of God I feel inadequate. I am reminded of the verses in Hebrews 4:14-16. I can be confident approaching the throne of God since I realize that I am always in a state of need before God. It is there that I can obtain His mercy and grace.

I have learned, as I get older that I really do have an awful lot to learn. I see older men who have gone through difficulties in life similar to things I have gone through or am going through and I find myself slow to speak and much more willing to listen.

Below is an excerpt from a series of exhortations by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) addressed to young men entitled "THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG MEN".

The excerpt below deals with the danger of falling into pride. The entire article addresses many issues and is well worth the time to read.

I thought this section was particularly important to highlight due to how applicable this is to many young men today in our postmodern American culture.

Guys...sometimes it IS good to just "sit down and shut up" (to quote an anonymous source).


"Young men, take to heart the Scriptures just quoted ("Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him"-Proverbs 26:12). Do not be too confident in your own judgment. Stop being so sure that you are always right, and others wrong. Don't trust your own opinion, when you find it contrary to that of older men, and especially to that of your own parents. Age gives experience, and therefore deserves respect. It is a mark of Elihu's wisdom, in the book of Job, that "Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he" (Job 32:4). And afterwards he said, "I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know. I thought, 'Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom" (Job 32:6-7). Humility and silence are beautiful graces in young people. Never be ashamed of being a learner: Jesus was one at twelve years; when He was found in the temple, He was "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions" (Luke 2:46). The wisest men would tell you they are always learners, and are humbled to find after all how little they know. The great Sir Isaac Newton used to say that he felt
himself no better than a little child, who had picked up a few precious stones on the shore of the sea of knowledge.

Young men, if you would be wise, if you would be happy, remember the warning I give you--Beware of pride."

-J.C. Ryle


Blogger Andy said...

I guess the more you know the more you realize how much more God knows than you. Kind of like the closer you get to God the more you see how sinful you really are. Cool quote.

1:19 AM  

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