Week beginning: 5th January, 2014

By Ian Miller | Amersham

"My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me."

Psalm 131 v 1 (NIV,1984)

Our legal culture encourages self-promotion. We fill in applications for work placements, training contracts, pupillages, treasury counsel, silk and the judiciary which call upon us to demonstrate how brilliant we are.

This psalm reminds us of the need for a realistic assessment and to avoid the sins of pride (1a) and presumption (1b). By the first we can undervalue others and by the second we overestimate ourselves. This can leave us in the malaise of dissatisfaction, insecurity and ultimately stress.

The Psalm goes on to say: "but I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." (v2). David had freed himself from what had been indispensable – from self-seeking.

David was able to do this because he placed his trust not in himself but in the Lord – the giver of all: gifts, talents, opportunities and promotions. Perhaps your prayer for 2014 would be that of the final verse of the Psalm: "O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and for evermore.

Prayer points

1. Give thanks for the gifts God has given to you and entrust them to the Lord for 2014.
2. Pray for opportunities throughout 2014 to speak, live, apply and promote the Good News of Jesus Christ.