March 9, 2019
Reach for the Highest Standard of Personhood
Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth. Jeremiah 9:23, NRSV.
God is the source of all wisdom. He is infinitely wise and just and good. [Apart from Christ,] the wisest people that ever lived cannot comprehend Him. They may profess to be wise; they may glory in their attainments; but mere intellectual knowledge, aside from the great truths that center in Christ, is as nothingness….
If men and women could see for a moment beyond the [range of] finite vision, if they could catch a glimpse of the Eternal, every mouth would be stopped in its boasting. People living in this little atom of a world are finite; God has unnumbered worlds that are obedient to His laws and are conducted with reference to His glory. When human beings have gone as far in scientific research as their limited powers will permit, there is still an infinity beyond what they can apprehend.
Before humans can be truly wise, they must realize their dependence upon God, and be filled with His wisdom. God is the source of intellectual as well as spiritual power. The greatest people who have reached what the world regards as wonderful heights in science are not to be compared with the beloved John or the great apostle Paul. It is when intellectual and moral power are combined that the greatest standard of personhood is reached. Those who do this, God will accept as workers together with Him in the training of minds.
To know oneself is a great knowledge. The teachers who rightly estimate themselves will let God mold and discipline their minds. And they will acknowledge the source of their power. For “what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Self-knowledge leads to humility and to trust in God, but it does not take the place of efforts for self-improvement. Those who realize their own deficiencies will spare no pains to reach the highest possible standard of physical, mental, and moral excellence. – Special Testimonies On Education, 49, 50.
From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 105.