Monday, May 29, 2006

Humility: True Greatness

I just finished C.J. Mahaney's book Humility: True Greatness. I don't want to write a proper review, but I would like to post just a few of the many memorable and convicting passages I marked with my trusty red pencil:

"Let me make this clear from the outset: I'm a proud man pursuing humility by the grace of God." (p. 13)

"Pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That's the motive and ultimate purpose of pride - to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive." (p. 32)

"As sinfully and culturally defined, pursuing greatness looks like this: Individuals motivated by self-interest, slef-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency pursue selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification.
Contrast that with the pursuit of true greatness as biblically defined: Serving others for the glory of God. This is the genuine expression of humility; this is true greatness as the Savior defined it." (p. 44)

"Ultimately our Christian service exists only to draw attention to this source - to our crucified and risen Lord who gave Himselfas a ransom for us all." (p. 48)

"The cross never flatters us. [John] Stott also wrote, 'Far from offering us flattery, the cross undermines our self-righteousness, and we can stand before it only with a bowed head and a broken spirit.'" (p. 68)

"In his excellent book Spiritual Depression, Martyn Lloyd-Jones asked, 'Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?' That's profound, and it's true." (p. 69)

"I have to remember that whenever I fell buried under care, the real issue is pride and my self-sufficiency. I must deliberately and specifically cast my cares upon Him thereby humble myself...The issue isn't God. It's my pride that resists trusting in Him throught dependence upon Him." (p. 76)

"Are you frequently critical of others? Do you look at those around you only to find one blemish after another? This proud tendency is a deeply rooted habit many of us who have sown sees of self-exaltation over the years." (p. 97-98)

"Paul, in his humility, saw the Corinthians from a divine perspective, and he allowed this perspective to determine his attitude toward them. And let me say by the authority of God's Word that you and I must hold this same perspecitve toward the believers around us." (p. 100)

"Look anywhere and you'll see evidences of God's activity, evidences of grace. What a joy and privilege it is to discern this activity in the lives of those we love and care for - and to draw their attention to how God is at work in their lives." (p. 101)

"God is at work. We motivate others by grace when we help them to see this, and one of the greatest joys we can experience is when we watch them come to that awareness." (p. 104)

"Only with an appreciation for the evidences of grace in the lives of others can we ever be truly effective in helping bring about adjustment and growth - in our families, in our churches, and in the lives of every believer we interact with. Only with this divine perspective can we experience faith for the change, as well as perseverance for the process." (p. 106)

"But any correction will not be effective unless you approach it with a divine perspective of those you're correcting, because your heart won't be filled with affection for them or with a fresh faith for change on their behalf. And they'll be sure to sense that lack in your heart." (p. 109)

"Truly edifying words are words that reveal the character and the promises and the activity of God. The'yre cross-centered words." (p. 114)

"Appropriate and timely words that edify will very often include words that exhort, words that help others guard against sin. And we're to speak this way every day. It's to be continual, not occasional - because sin is active continually, not occasionally.
"As we do, we're first and foremost guarding the authority and the primacy of God's Word. That's a description of biblical accountability." (p. 116)

"The biblical purpose for every conversation you have, in every personal interaction, is that the person who hears you will receive grace." (p. 118)

There are many more passages I could cite, but I'll stop here. I hope you'll read the book.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Great to read your blog Josh! I enjoy reading book reviews (or at least a short preview!) because I really do not find the time to read right now--seeing as I have 2 toddlers and all.....But it is nice to see what books have really struck my friends, so I can perhaps sneak in some reading time on books that really matter! I wish we could see you guys before you move....