Recently, I finished C. J. Mahaney’s book “Humility – True Greatness.” It’s a short book and one that most individuals could knock out in a couple hours. However, the premise of the book – true greatness in God’s eyes is reserved for those who are humble in spirit – is one that an individual will spend a lifetime pursuing, which isn’t easy on the ears…at least mine. Humility is something I long for; I want to be an individual who doesn’t have to “win” an argument; I want to be an individual looks to other people’s interests before my own; I want to be an individual who isn’t caught up in titles, reputations, status, etc.; bottom line – I want to be humble. But the problem is that the greatest enemy of humility is pride and pride seems to take up residence in my spirit quite often. It seems to be an unceasing struggle. Knowing this, in part, is why I decided to read C. J.’s book.
I could list off the litany of statements made in the book that would undoubtedly encourage and challenge you, but I won’t do that. You simply need to go purchase the book yourself and read it with a self-evaluating spirit. I will recount one paragraph because it highlights the great irony an individual can be experiencing as they’re pursuing humility in their life. C. J. writes, “Here’s a scary thought: It’s possible to admire humility while remaining proud ourselves. I’m very aware that it’s possible for me even now to be teaching on humility while neglecting pride in my own heart. And at this moment you may be deceiving yourself into thinking that you are making progress against pride simply because you are reading a book about humility. (Though I hope that’s not true!)” (pp. 63).
It goes without saying (or writing), but I’ll do so anyway, but the previous sentences by C. J. smacked me in the face. And I would take it one step further that in my pursuit to recount a book on humility that greatly challenged me and pass it along to whomever reads this post that I can be demonstrating more pride than humility? However, it does seem that lately I am at least making more of an intentional effort to allow humility to dominate my thoughts, actions, and motives, rather than pride. Interestingly, as I’m writing this post I’m watching the movie “The Patriot” with my wife, which is an incredible movie. And interestingly enough, I just listened to an exchange between Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and his son (the late Heath Ledger) where he asks his son “did your dad ever teach you any humility?” To which his son says, “he tried, but it didn’t work.” I don’t want that to be the case with me. I have quoted time-and-time-again God’s word which says emphatically, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” I want God to show me grace not opposition. May I be found humble.