“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” - Psalm 51:17
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite."
“All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”
- James 3:13
“All gracious affections, that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or to men, is a brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires. Their hope is an humble hope, and their joy, even when it is unspeakable and full of glory is a humble brokenhearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to an universal lowliness of behavior.”
- Jonathan Edwards, quoted by Sam Storms in, Signs of the Spirit, p. 117
“Sheep are the most harmless, quiet, inoffensive creatures that God has made. So should it be with Christians: they should be very humble and lowly-minded, as disciples of Him who said, ‘Learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart.’ They should be known as persons of a very gentle and loving spirit, who desire to good to all around them, who would not injure any one by word or deed; who do not seek the great things of this world, but are content to go straightforward on the path of duty and take whatever it shall please God to send them. They ought to show forth in their lives and outward conversation that the Holy Ghost has given them a new nature, has taken away their old corrupt disposition and planted in them godly thoughts, desires and purposes. When, therefore, we see people biting and devouring one another, saying and doing uncharitable things to their neighbors, and passionate and evil-tempered and angry on the slightest occasion; full of envy and strife and bitter speaking, - surely we are justified in saying, ‘Ye do not belong to Christ’s flock; ye have yet to be born again and made new creatures; there must be a mighty change. Profess what you please, at present we can only see in you the mind of the old man, even Adam the first, but nothing of the second Adam, even Christ Jesus the Lord; we can discern the spirit of the wolf, however fair your clothing, and we want instead to discover in you the spirit of the lamb.”
- J.C. Ryle, The True Christian, p. 112
God draws near to the humble and the contrite. Humility and contrition are indications of the grace of God at work in our hearts. And true humility and contrition cannot be feigned. They are the work of grace given by God to the undeserving. They recognize they cannot change themselves. Jesus Christ was clothed with humility and the Spirit bears the fruit of humility in those that belong to Him. Simply stated, Spirit borne Christians are characterized by humility, and as such, when we interact with one another humility and contrition ought to characterize both our posture and our conversation. God resists the proud and brings them low. He is repelled by the arrogant and the proud, but He draws near to the humble and contrite. As those who love Christ and are called by His name may we be filled with humble, brokenhearted affections for Him and for those around us.
I’m grateful for mercy to those like me that least deserve it, and I’m praying that God would continue to work His brokenhearted affections in my life.