Sunday, October 26, 2008

Humility


Some time ago I encountered a Christian leader and it really impacted me. Sadly, I have to say it was not in a good way. I was left with a wake-up call not to end up like this person and began reflecting on the question of whether others may think of me as I thought of this person. You see, the main thing that I encountered in this individual was their pride. Seeing pride so clearly displayed in another made me have to acknowledge so much of it in myself.

One book that I have come across as an antidote to my own self-preoccupation is Humility by C J Mahaney. This, together with a talk by Tim Keller called 'How to change', are some necessary resources I am using to go to work on the monster of my pride. John Stott writes, "At every stage of Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility the greatest friend." This book is full of helpful observations, biblical insights and offers the voice of a character-filled leader who has trodden the humble path. Having read it, I am not sure I am off the start block on humility but at least I now have a few markers on which way to go.

Here is just a taste of some of the advice for starting each day:

1. Reflect on the Cross

2. Acknowledge your need of God

3. Practice gratitude

4. Memorize scripture

5. Caste your cares

If this book needs a warning, it is simply that it is quite short relative to its price so if you buy it don't expect a huge tome to arrive in the post. However, I think if you and I do the half of what it prescribes we may both spare others an unpleasant encounter with the enemy that is within all of us all-our pride.

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