“Men so magnify their own opinions … as if it were all one to differ from them and from God”
“The very design of the gospel doth tend to self-abasing; and the work of grace is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature: it is a contradiction to be a sanctified man, or a true Christian, and not humble.”
Richard Baxter on Humility,Pride and Self Exhaltation
By C. H. Spurgeon
Look at the corn in the field: it holds its head erect while it is green, but when the ear is filled and matured, it hangs its head in graceful humbleness.
Look at your fruit trees: how their blooming branches shoot up toward the sky, but when they begin to be loaded with fruit, since the riper the fruit the greater its weight, the branch begins to bow, until it needs oftentimes to be propped up and to be supported, lest it break away from the stem. Weight comes with maturity; lowliness of mind is the inevitable consequence.
Growing Christians think themselves nothing; full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing. The nearer we are to heaven in point of holiness, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate.
Lightly-laden vessels float high in the water; heavy cargo sinks the barque to the water’s edge. The more grace, the more the need of grace is felt. He may boast of his grace who has none, he may talk much of his grace who has little; but he who is rich in grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind.
When a man’s inward life flows like a river, he thinks only of the source, and cries before his God, “All my fresh springs are in Thee!” He who abounds in holiness feels more than ever that in him, that is, in his flesh, there dwelleth no good thing.
You are not ripened, my brother, while you have a high esteem of yourself. He who glories in himself is but a babe in Christ, if indeed he is in Christ at all.
When you shall see death written on the creature, and see all your life in Christ; when you shall perceive even the holy things to have iniquity in them, and see all your perfectness in Him who is altogether lovely; when you shall lie prostrate at the foot of the throne, and only rise to sit and reign in Him who is your all–then are you ripening, but not until then.
John Calvin writes most insightfully of our sinful nature from ‘Self Denial’
For, such is the blindness with which we all rush into self-love that each one of us seems to himself to have just cause to be proud of himself and to despise all others in comparison. If God has conferred upon us anything of which we need not repent, relying upon it we immediately lift up our minds, and are not only puffed up but almost burst with pride. The very vices that infest us we take pains to hide from others, while we flatter ourselves with the pretense that they are slight and insignificant, and even sometimes embrace them as virtues. If others manifest the same endowments we admire in ourselves, or even superior ones, we spitefully belittle and revile these gifts in order to avoid yielding place to such persons. If there are any faults in others, not content with noting them with severe and sharp reproach, we hatefully exaggerate them. Hence arises such insolence that each one of us, as if exempt from the common lot, wishes to tower above the rest, and loftily and savagely abuses every mortal man, or at least looks down upon him as inferior. . . . But there is no one who does not cherish within himself some opinion of his own pre-eminence. HT: How John Calvin Led Me To Repent Of Christian Psychology by Pastor Steven J. Cole
Paul’s estimate of himself
(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)
“I am nothing!” 2 Corinthians 12:11
This was Paul’s estimate of himself: “less than the least of all saints,” and “the chief of sinners.”
The more we know of ourselves and of Jesus–
the more shall we be humbled in the dust before Him;
and the lower we lie before Him,
and the happier and holier we shall be.
Sinful MAN will, MUST be something–this is both his pride and his misery.
The Christian is willing to be nothing–that Christ may be all in all.
If we daily felt that we are nothing–how many mortifications we would be spared; what admiring views of the grace of God would fill and sanctify our souls!
Apart from Christ–we are less than nothing; but in Christ–we are something!
We are empty–but He fills us!
We are naked–but He clothes us!
We are helpless–but He strengthens us!
We are lost–but He finds us!
We are ruined–but He saves us!
We are poor–but He supplies us!
All that we are–is by Christ!
All that we have–is from Christ!
All that all we shall be–is through Christ!
Christian, you are nothing! Therefore beware of thinking too highly of yourself; or imagining that you deserve more than you receive–either from God or men.
Humble souls are soon satisfied.
O could I lose myself in Thee,
Your depth of mercy prove,
O vast unfathomable sea
Of unexhausted love!
I loathe myself when God I see,
Content if Christ exalted be!
Source: Grace Gems ~ ~ ~ ~ ~