Tag Archive for 'Humility'

Quote of the Day: N.T. Wright

“I frequently tell my students that quite a high proportion of what I say is probably wrong, or at least flawed or skewed in some way which I do not at the moment realize. The only problem is that I do not know which bits are wrong; if I did I might do something about it.”

–N.T. Wright

I’m so glad this isn’t the case with Scripture.

We should approach the Scriptures with humility, and tremble at God’s word. (Isaiah 66:2b) I realize this means respecting what God says, but I think it can go along with this idea. Something I need to keep in mind.

HT: Alien In This Land

Mark Driscoll on Humility

For those of you who don’t like him–I like to think of him as a work in progress. If nothing else this video has some humor in it.

I’m very humble but thought I’d show it to those of you who struggle with pride.

Never Be Wise In Your Own Sight

Never Be Wise In Your Own Sight by John Piper

Proverbs 9:10 NRSV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble.

Matthew 23:12
All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Duty Calls


There are plenty of blogs and message board posts of Christians criticizing each other. Some are legitimately pointing out false teachers who are knowingly or unknowingly leading others astray. Some are pointing out teachings that are unscriptural. But others are just Christians calling other Christians names and treating each other in a disrespectful way.

Sometimes we should just let it go:

Romans 14:8-10
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Sometimes we need to act differently:

‘Think of people you consider fanatical. They’re overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive and harsh,’ Mr. Keller says. ‘Why? It’s not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous and courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving, or understanding—as Christ was.’

–Tim Keller

By the way, he is one of the people who is often maligned among certain groups of people. I don’t know enough of him to have an opinion.

I thought I would get together just a few Scripture references specifically dealing with respect. This is a reminder to myself as much as anyone else.

Romans 12:10
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:16-18
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Titus 3:2
to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

James 2:12-13
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Erasmus on understanding the Word

If you approach the Scriptures with all humility and with regulated caution, you will perceive that you have been breathed upon by the Holy Will. It will bring about a transformation which is impossible to describe. You will perceive the delights of the Blessed Bridegroom; you will see the riches of Solomon. The hidden treasures of eternal wisdom will be yours. Yet I would caution you. The entrance to this abode of wisdom is narrow. The doorway is low, and there is danger in not stooping when you enter.

–Erasmus, The Handbook of the Militant Christian

Thanks to:

Disclaimer: I’ve not read much of Erasmus, but I love this quote.

Suffering 4

2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

In his commentary on 2 Corinthians Garland says, “He understands that through his suffering he shared Christ’s death and received new life (Philippians 3:10-11). Savage* captures Paul’s thought:

It is precisely because his outer man is decaying that his inner man is being revewed day by day (v. 16). His outer afflictions serve to multiply the glory of his inner man (v. 17). His critics fail to see this increasing weight of glory because it is accumulating in his heart (v. 6), a place hidden to their externally minded outlook.

Most cannot see this transformation because they only look at the outer surface of humans. From this vantage point, it looks like Paul is falling apart instead of being gloriously renewed. Caird** explains this process well and why God designed it so:

But it is a secret process, invisible both to the outsider and to the believer himself, known only to faith. To protect that faith from the encroachments of pride, which would turn spiritual renewal into a human achievement instead of accepting it as a gift of grace, God has provided that the process be concealed within an ‘earthenware vessel,’ a perishable body subject to pain and decay (2 Corinthians 4:7; cp. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Those whose eyes are not on the seen and transient, but on the unseen and eternal, can detect beneath the decay of the outer nature an inner life which is being daily renewed.

*Savage, Power through Weakness, 183.
**G.B. Caird, Paul’s Letters from Prison, New Clarendon Bible (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976)

Two things strike me.

One is how similar the Church is in the U.S. compared to the Corinthians and how we look at the “outer man” to determine how well they are doing spiritually. This can refer to outward appearance or outward actions. We judge people by how healthy they appear. If someone is afflicted we ask why this is. Do they lack faith? Are they doing something wrong? Why isn’t God blessing them? And yet the Bible speaks out against this time and again. (John 9:2-3)

The other is how He uses uses earthen vessels who can be hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down so that we cannot rely on ourselves and be able to say that we are being renewed because of our own efforts.

Although our afflictions can seem unbearable, the “weight of glory” will be so great in heaven that it is incomparable to our earthly suffering. Since we cannot imagine this now, we must believe this by faith. (see also Romans 8:18)

Pride and Humility

CAMPONTHIS has a nice post on Pride and Humility with some quotes and lots of Scripture. It’s a fairly quick read and going through the Scripture is invaluable.

I will add one more quote:

The utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

–C.S. Lewis, quoted in The International Dictionary of Thoughts, 584

Humility and the Word of God

This puts us all in a place of humility before God. We must search the Scriptures, we must study God’s Word, we must wait on God. But because we are still in the evil Age, when we have done our best, we are compelled to say, “Lord, I have searched Thy Word; but I know only in part; I do not perfectly understand.” This lays a demand upon us that we hold the Word of God both in humility and in charity: in humility towards God and in charity towards our brethren.’

–George Ladd, Gospel of the Kingdom