Thursday, August 27, 2009


"Humility senses that humility is a gift beyond our reach. If humility is the product of reaching, then we will instinctively feel proud about our successful reach. Humility is the gift that receives all things as gift. It is the fruit not of our achievement but of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is the fruit of the gospel—knowing and feeling that we are desperate sinners and that Christ is a great and undeserved Savior.

Humility is the one grace in all our graces that, if we gaze on it, becomes something else. It flourishes when the gaze is elsewhere—on the greatness of the grace of God in Christ" ~ John Piper, Lewis and Edwards on the Layers of Self-Admiration

I have written on humility before, but I really wanted to share this quote. Piper hits on a key point when it comes to humility: once gazed upon it immediately becomes something else. When we think about our humility we cannot help but be proud of the fact that we are humble, thus damaging the humility. Tim Keller calls true humility "blessed self-forgetfulness" because it is only when our focus is lifted from ourselves to something else (to Christ, as Piper points out) that true humility can be developed. C. S. Lewis affirms this in Mere Christianity: "Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a bit envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."

By His Grace,

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