Humility: true greatness


Humility: true greatness

C.J. Mahoney     Book review

As I picked up this beautiful little book a while ago, I did so with trepidation as to what I would read. I knew I was going to read things I need to understand.

We all have different ideas about what humility is, and what constitutes a humble outlook on the life God has given us. It seemed slightly strange to write a book about such a subject, as people who write books, usually consider themselves “experts.” This seemed at odds with the subject matter of the text. However, there is much to consider and learn from people who have been on the road before you and I, and have traveled for longer.

The writer highlights for us, our own destitute position before God, before he in his infinite kindness, ransomed and rescued us for the slavery of this world and sin’s clutches. When we read the scriptures, we are continually faced with what we are really like and the price Christ had to pay to redeem us back. This is the start for every Christian and the beginning of a life of humility.

As we walk with God, Pride is our greatest foe and humility our treasure and friend. The purpose of our lives is to weaken the enemy and strengthen the ally. The rest of this little book is to give prompts to help us do these things.

Humility thinks often of what Jesus has done and every day acknowledges a total need for God. Gratitude is the air breathed by every Christian and is strengthened by learning scripture and meditating on it’s meaning and application to our life. As the day ends, we think of what God has done and transfer all glory to him and accept graciously his gift of sweet sleep.

To deepen and strengthen our spiritual lives, we need to find out more about our great God and his attributes. Nothing aids appreciation like this realization. Study and realize the doctrines of grace so that you understand more about what you own. Sin. We all need to think about sin, and the hold it has on us. We need to ask for the revelation of our sinfulness and how insidious and deep-seated it is in our psyche and behaviour. The Holy Spirit must be at work in us to produce the desire for a sensitive conscience.

Thinking about ourselves realistically is painful, but is the way to blessing as we face up and seek forgiveness and put our attitudes right. Prayer should be for the removal of the blindness we have to our own failings and faults, so that we can walk God’s way better. Consequently, we can then help others along the road and be an encouragement to those who also struggle and are seeking God.

Suffering is something we don’t like, but need. God calls us all to suffer or bear burdens that can cost us very dearly. Humility in suffering is perhaps the greatest witness you can have to the saving and keeping power of God. We should be thankful and seek the long term blessing of proving God in this way, and then to be the testimony to a watching society as to the power and sustaining love of God.

What sort of person do you admire? Sports heroes? Film stars? Successful businessmen or women? The scriptures exalt no such person. God chooses the weak and lowly people to put to shame the proud. He chooses those who love him truly and put themselves at the bottom of every list, so that Christ shines from their lives and his perfect will is done.

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