The Words of Our Elders: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

It’s a universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The words of our elders, are words of wisdom.


Spiritual Intelligence: Humility, The Creator’s Brand

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Good morning friends. Peter’s speaks expressly in these verses about leadership, service, trust, mutual respect, humility and reward. First he starts with those in leadership, expressing the importance of their role and the virtues to pursue to enhance it, he addresses the younger folks on the need to be submissive, then the essence and blessings of a mutually symbiotic exchange of humility within christian communities. He made reference to this verse in proverbs, as he tries to highlight the blessings of humility;

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.

This same verse is mentioned by James as he tries to warn his friends against strife; stressing that strife is a by product of pride. Clearly from this verse we see the contrast between pride and humility, and God’s view on these subjects. Before I go any further, I feel the need to clarify that human dignity is an essential part of our psyche, and it is important in our relationship with God and others. And it should not be muddled up with pride, ego or narcissism.

With that in mind, pride can be simply defined as rebellion against the existence of God, and His place in our lives and the affairs of planet earth. We manifest this trait when we take God’s place in the circumstances surrounding our lives; in our existence, in our achievements, and in our accomplishments. When we operate without His active participation, when we feel we are masters of our destinies. In the psalmist’s effort to express his trust and dependency on God (humility), he penned these words:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

So dear friends, our acceptance of His lordship over our lives, and this consciousness in our relationship with others, can be qualified as humility. In this pride filled and self indulgent generation, we need to keep reminding ourselves of the words of Peter:

Be clothed with humility


~ Sabali


Spiritual Intelligence: And, If I May boast

Thus says the Lord:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord.

Good morning friends. By bringing these verses into context, we capture the essence of the word glory. For a minute, let us substituted it with the word boast… Then it sounds like this:

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, nor let the rich man boast in his riches; but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord

In our walk of faith there seems to be no room for pride or ego. As one reads through the leaves of the holy writ; time after time references are made by different contributors in successive generations of their destructive attributes.

So, the writer of the proverbs noted:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

The psalmist penned this line into the lyrics of one of his songs:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.

James took his cue from the book of proverbs as he encouraged his friends in the faith:

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.

So, if ever we boast it should be in honour to God, and as thanksgiving for His lovingkindness and tender mercies. The New Testament church had an acute understanding of this truth, hence Paul’s evaluation of his achievements and accomplishment were capture with these words:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

They were simply nothing to be compared with his new found knowledge of Christ Jesus.

In the same vain I pray dear friends: that the we live the same experience as Paul; that we are immersed in God’s service, and that we dispense the fragrance of His love through our lives. Not in riches, not in might, not in wisdom. So like the psalmist, we will have the freedom to boldly declare:

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.


~ Sabali

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