Humility for us all

Humility for us all March 10, 2023

Image: Crossway

Humility is something that I’m not very good at. This truth is driven home by Gavin Ortlund’s short little book Humility: The Joy of Self-Forgetfulness.

But what is this thing I lack much of? As you can probably tell from the subtitle, humility is “self-forgetfulness leading to joy.” (xxvi). It is something we see modeled in Christ, which we should see in our own lives and in the lives of our churches. Even more specifically, the first of these should drive the last two. That is, we should be humble personally and corporately because of what Christ has done for us in the Gospel. In becoming a man, living the life that we should have lived, and dying the death that we should have died, Jesus is both the perfect model of humility and the source of our ability to be humble ourselves (however imperfectly). Because of His obedience, we are able to forget about our selves and find the joy we were made for.

In just under a hundred pages, Ortlund walks through all this and provides practical suggestions for how to cultivate humility in ourselves and in our churches. Drawing extensively from C.S. Lewis (especially his fiction), Humility gives us guidance on how we can build humility such as how to react when others are speaking, including 1) valuing what they have to say; 2) being slow to judge their words; 3) maintain nuance rather than holding to established prejudices; 4) assume the speaker is rational and speaking in good faith; and 5) don’t try to control the conversation. (28-29)

Overall, this is an excellent little book that you should have on your shelf (and, you know, actually have read).

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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