Thursday, November 3

Book Review: Humility: True Greatness

by C. J. Mahaney, reviewed as part of a program at The Diet of Bookworms.

Finally, a book on every Christian's favorite subject!

Well, I suppose that's not quite right, is it? Most of us don't really want to be more humble. At least we don't want to be more humble unless someone notices how humble we are and congratulates us for it.

C. J. Mahaney defines humility as a realistic evaluation of ourselves in light of God's holiness and our sinfulness. Humility is seeing the truth about ourselves. I think I can say with confidence that there's not one Christian who oughtn't be more humble. When we assess ourselves, we are much more likely to evaluate ourselves as better than we really are, than we are to see ourselves accurately. Our problem is not lack of self-esteem, but too much self-esteem. So this is a book we all ought to be interested in, even though we might find the subject.....well....humbling.

This is a short book and a quick read. The first two sections deal with the biblical reasons we ought to be humble and the biblical example of humility that we find in Christ himself. The last section is the largest section of the book, and it's the "how-to" of humility: What can we do to grow some in ourselves and in those we are responsible for.

This last section is where the strength of the book is. I'm not a big reader of "how-to" books, but this is not pop-psychology, but practical biblical advice. For instance, this section examines things like what we can do first thing in the morning to give us a humble outlook, what we can do at the close of the day to remind us of our dependence on God and his grace, and how we can encourage others.

I wish there had been more exegetical examination of the various scriptural texts that deal with humility--like my personal favorite: Philippians 2: 1-11--but that's probably just me wanting a book that's more the sort of thing that I really, really like to read. Practical is good, and Humility: True Greatness is nothing if not practical. It gives us the down-to-earth, bottom-line, nitty-gritty on a quality I need more of, and I bet you do, too.

You'll find more reviews of this book at the Diet of Bookworms.
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