Monday, September 22, 2008

Reflections on Humility by C. J. Mahaney

I just finished reading Humility and it one of the rare books that I am sad to finish. It was a deeply challenging book that I wish every Christian would read and I am certain that every Christian would benefit from.

Mahaney defines Humility as “honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” I found that definition to be powerful. It was a humbling experience to be forced to realize that because of my sinfulness I deserve death and hell, that is what I deserve yet God has chosen to show me grace and mercy through the Cross of His Son. So when I look at all the good in my life I am forced to confess that I can take credit for none of it. It is all simply an opportunity to praise the goodness of my great God.

Two of Mahaney’s strengths shine in this book; he is always a gracious and is open about his own struggles. The book is not written as a learned treatise from a man who portrays himself as a paradigm of humility, rather as a shared education from a proud man pursuing humility urging us to join him in that pursuit.

Mahaney is also intensely practical. Throughout the book there is guidance on how to cultivate the attitude of humility. I found especially helpful his guidance on how to start the day and I am already benefiting from it. He advises that we should begin each day acknowledging our dependence on God and expressing gratefulness to Him. There is a great deal of practical guidance of this nature throughout the book. But starting the day in this fashion has changed the nature of how I face the obstacles of the day, how I approach the appointments and duties of each day, they are no longer seen as opportunities to work or to accomplish things or even simply to do what must be done; but rather as opportunities to rest in God’s strength and to see Him at work.

I commend this book to you and all the work of C. J. Mahaney. May God Bless him and preserve him so that he can continue to be a conduit of blessing to the church.


John Lucas said...

This is one of my favorite books i read this year as well. I especially appreciated his reminder to look to the cross every morning. Thanks for the post.

Joshua Owen said...

Hey Jamie, another great book on humility is The Letter to the Philippians by the Apostle Paul. In this book we do have a perfect paradigm for humility in chapter 2. It also has other examples of humility which are less than perfect, such as the author himself and his friend Epaphroditus. I appreciate C. J.' s message about humility. It certainly resonates with Paul's appeal in Philippians.