Young People’s Greatest Problem Is…

Matthew Henry says, “I have seen more young people ruined by pride than perhaps by any one lust whatsoever.”

If Matthew Henry had designed Facebook instead of Mark Zuckerberg, we would be posting status updates on our failings, our faults, and our bad-hair days. And we’d be posting photos of others’ victories, achievements, and successes.

 

….Pride.

At least, according to Matthew Henry. In his little book, Sober-Mindedness Pressed Upon Young People, Henry says, “I have seen more young people ruined by pride than perhaps by any one lust whatsoever.”

Henry’s book is based upon the text “Exhort the young men to be sober-minded” (Titus 2:6), but in this section he also expounds Romans 12v3:

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Henry says that the Greek is literally, “think unto sobriety,” or “think yourself into a sober mind.”

But how do we do that?

Practical as ever, Henry advises:

“Keep up low thoughts of yourselves, of your endowments, both outward and inward; of your attainments and improvements, and all your performances, and all the things you call merits and excellencies.”

Sounds just like Facebook, doesn’t it?

Not.

Henry calls us to make as little of our attainments as most do of their faults, and instead to make much of others’ attainments and little of their faults. He notes how Moses didn’t know that his face shone, and when he realized it, he veiled it.

If Matthew Henry had designed Facebook instead of Mark Zuckerberg, we would be posting status updates on our failings, our faults, and our bad-hair days. And we’d be posting photos of others’ victories, achievements, and successes.

So how about this for a counter-cultural social media strategy:

“Dwell much upon humbling considerations, and those that tend to take down your high opinion of yourselves.” 

But Henry doesn’t end there; he doesn’t see sober-mindedness as an end in itself, but as a means to another wonderful end:

“And keep up a humble sense of your necessary and constant dependence upon Christ and His grace, without which you are nothing, and will soon be worse than nothing.”

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog, Head Heart Hand, and is used with permission.