Proverbs 18:12-14 (ESV)
12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.
13 If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
14 A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
We have two new dogs picked up at a Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods, IL (yes, it’s a no kill shelter – http://www.orphansofthestorm.org/about). They are young – Bob Dylan (a Shepherd/hound(we think) mix is now 5 months, Easton (a Plott hound) about a year. They are rescues and they have histories. You can see it in their eyes.
Being a lab guy, hounds are new to me. They are stubborn and strong willed I’m coming to find out. Really stubborn and strong willed. But, they are also full of love. You can see it in their eyes, especially Easton. His eyes just say “Love me please”.
A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? How many crushed spirit’s are out there? Many. Hopelessness is real for so many people. I see it in the jail – the mention of hope is a rope to hold on to. The reality of a crushed spirit is the destruction caused by a haughty heart. Me, Me, I first, foremost and always will lead to a crushed spirit at some point. Stubborn, strong willed, proud, arrogant, vain, conceited, snobbish, superior, self-important, pompous, supercilious, condescending, patronizing, etc. Haughty. While it might not look like it in this Facebook world, how many crushed spirits are out there putting on a brave face, hoping it’ll get better? You can see it in their eyes.
Crushed spirit? I wish I was as resilient as Easton. I wish I had the resilience of those in other parts of the world that have lost everything but hope through the haughty acts of those in power. Hope. What a beautiful word. Yes, you can see it in their eyes – those that have hope and those that have lost it.
Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
There is hope in the promise of Christ. Perfect hope from perfect love. If you consider yourself a Christian, be the light in a world where hope is fading. Be the light bearer. Be the servant, be available to have Christ work through you. Be present. Be in the world. Be what we’re called to be.
If you don’t know Christ, hate him, don’t believe in him, don’t care about him, know that he’s always there for you. If you’re looking for hope, he’s the answer. Go to him. You’ll find it in his eyes.