I just finished reading Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. It made me realize that pride has lost much of its shock value, and it had grown roots even deeper than I had imagined. We need to declare complete and total war against pride and realize that it isn’t a battle we can win on our own. Desiring humility isn’t enough. I need to actively and consistently look to God and acknowledge my complete dependence upon Him.
In C.J. Mahaney’s words, “Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him.”
I appreciated several things about Humility: True Greatness. A few things include:
1. C.J. Mahaney directs us to the supreme example of Jesus Christ. We are nothing in and of ourselves, and we should not compare ourselves with other people. Our significance must be measured next to the majesty and greatness of God. That is where true humility is found.
2. The author uses stories from his own life to help us laugh our way into understanding the principles of pride vs. humility. Stories about cream cheese and the tire fiasco (you need to read the book to understand) are funny, but they are carefully chosen tools to make the lessons memorable.
3. C.J. Mahaney doesn’t spend time on the appearance of pride, because God doesn’t care what we appear to be. He cares about what we are. He cares about our relationship with Him. I know it is often easier for me to rid myself of the appearance of pride than to dig down to the base of my pride and dig it out by its roots. Asking the Lord for His help and depending completely upon Him can make humility more than a makeup job that isn’t even skin deep.
4. The book provides practical tips to help in your battle against pride. This is not a set of rules set in stone. Rather, it is a list of suggestions that will bring you closer in your relationship with God. Included are:
a. Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God.
b. Begin your day expressing gratefulness to God.
c. Practice the spiritual disciplines – prayer, study of God’s Word, worship. Do this consistently each day and at the day’s outset, if possible.
d. At the end of the day, transfer the glory to God.
e. ...And many others!
Humility: True Greatness isn’t long, but it holds a lot of wisdom. I will keep it in easy reach for future encouragement.
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.