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What is Humility - Charles Spurgeon

It is the "Queen" of all graces

Be content with the lowest place

Knowledge increases humility (by God's grace)

The highest grace that can adorn the Christian character

Shallow Theology lends itself to pride

Be compassionate and humble

Gospel doctrines are humbling to human pride

Humility is necessary for spiritual understanding

Dwell upon God's mercy and love to humble your heart

A truly humble man

The happiest Christians

Work for God's eye

The more God uses us, the less we think of ourselves - C. H. Spurgeon

A "Proud" Christian - John MacDuff

The Path to the Higher Life - Andrew Murray

Humility in Daily Life - Andrew Murray

The Secret of Abiding Gladness - Andrew Murray

Humility: The Beauty of Holiness - Andrew Murray - Complete book for online reading

Booklet - Humility: The Beauty of Holiness - in printable PDF format

He had to be humbled - Andrew Murray

The first lesson of a Christian - Augustine

The Place of Humiliation - Oswald Chambers

The first lesson of a Christian

"For those who would learn God's ways,
 humility is the first thing,
humility is the second thing,
and humility is the third thing."
(Augustine, 354-430)

The 'Queen of the Christian graces'

Humility may well be called the 'queen of the
Christian graces'. To know our own sinfulness
and weakness, and to feel our need of Christ,
is the very beginning of saving religion.

Humility is a grace which has always been the
distinguishing feature in the character of the
holiest saints in every age. Abraham, and Moses,
and Job, and David, and Daniel, and Paul--were
all eminently humble men. Humility is a grace
within the reach of every true Christian.

Would we know the root and spring of humility?
One word describes it. The root of humility is right
knowledge. The man who really knows . . .
himself--and his own heart;
God--and His infinite majesty and holiness;
Christ--and the price at which he was redeemed;
that man will never be a proud man!

He will count himself, like Jacob, "unworthy
of the least of all God's mercies!"

He will say of himself, like Job, "I am vile!"

He will cry, like Paul, "I am chief of sinners!"

Ignorance! nothing but sheer ignorance! ignorance . . .
of self,
of God,
of Christ,
is the real secret of pride! From that miserable
self-ignorance may we daily pray to be delivered!

He is the wise man who knows himself! And he
who knows himself, will find nothing within to
make him proud.

- J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of Luke, 1858


Be content with the lowest place

"A dispute arose among them as to which of them
was considered to be greatest." Luke 22:24

See how firmly pride and love of preeminence
can stick to the hearts of Christian men.

The sin before us is a very old one . . .
self esteem, and
self conceit
lie deep at the bottom of all men's hearts, and
often in the hearts where they are least suspected.

Thousands imagine that they are humble,
who cannot bear to see an equal more honored
and favored than themselves!

The quantity of envy and jealousy in the world
is a glaring proof of the prevalence of pride.

Let us live on our guard against this sore disease,
if we make any profession of serving Christ. The
harm that it has done to the Church of Christ is
far beyond calculation.

Let us learn to take pleasure in the prosperity
of others, and to be content with the lowest
place for ourselves.

J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of Luke, 1858

Knowledge increases humility

(by God's grace)

The less a man knows,

the more he thinks he knows.

The more he really does know,

the more he realizes his ignorance and his limitations.

- H. A. Ironside

The highest grace that can adorn the Christian character

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant." Luke 1:46-48

Mark Mary's deep humility. She who was chosen of God to the high honor of being Messiah's mother, speaks of her own "humble state," and acknowledges her need of a "Savior."

She does not let fall a word to show that she regarded herself as a sinless, "immaculate" person. On the contrary, she uses the language of one who has been taught by the grace of God to feel her own sins, and so far from being able to save others, requires a Savior for her own soul. We may safely affirm that none would be more forward to reprove the honor paid by the Romish
Church to the Virgin Mary, than the Virgin Mary herself.

Let us copy this holy humility of our Lord's mother, while we steadfastly refuse to regard her as a mediator, or to pray to her. Like her, let us be lowly in our own eyes, and think little of ourselves.

Humility is the highest grace that can adorn the Christian character. It is a true saying of an old divine, that "a man has just so much Christianity as he has humility."

Humility is the grace, which of all is most suited to human nature. Above all, humility is the grace which is within the reach of every converted person.

All are not rich. All are not learned. All are not highly gifted. All are not preachers. But all children of God may be clothed with humility.

- J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of Luke, 1858



"He who thinks little of God,

thinks much of himself."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Be compassionate and humble

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." 1 Peter 3:8

'Austerus' is a solid and exemplary Christian. He has a deep extensive, and experimental knowledge of Divine things inflexibly and invariably true to his principles, he stems with a noble singularity the torrent of the world, and can neither be bribed nor intimidated from the path of duty. He is a rough diamond of great intrinsic value, and would sparkle with a distinguished luster--if he were more polished. But, though the word of God is his daily study, and he prizes the precepts, as well as the promises, more than thousands of gold and silver, there is one precept he seems to have overlooked--"be compassionate and humble."

Instead of that gentleness and humility which will always be expected from a professed follower of the meek and lowly Jesus, there is a harshness in his manner, which makes him more admired than beloved; and those who truly love him, often feel more constraint than pleasure when in his company. His intimate friends are satisfied that he is no stranger to true humility of heart; but these are few. By others he is thought proud, dogmatic, and self-important; nor can this prejudice against him be easily removed, until he can lay aside that cynical air which he has unhappily contracted.

How lamentable are such blemishes in such a person!

Newton's letter on, Blemishes in Christian character

Gospel doctrines are humbling to human pride

There are thousands around us who loathe the distinctive doctrines of the Gospel on account of their humbling character. They cannot tolerate the atonement, and the sacrifice, and the substitution of Christ. His moral teaching they approve. His example and self-denial they admire. But speak to them of Christ's blood--of Christ being made sin for us--of Christ's death being the corner-stone of our hope--of Christ's poverty being our riches--and you will find they hate these things with a deadly hatred. Truly the offence of the cross is not yet ceased!

- J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of John

Humility is necessary for spiritual understanding

Humility is the frame of mind which we should labor and pray for, if we would not be offended by scriptural teaching. If we find any of Christ's sayings hard to understand, we should humbly remember our present ignorance, and believe that we shall know more by and bye. If we find any of His sayings difficult to obey, we should humbly recollect that He will never require of us impossibilities, and that what He bids us do, He will give us grace to perform.

- J. C. Ryle, The Gospel of John

Dwell upon God's mercy and love to humble your heart

Dwell much upon the greatness of God's mercy and
goodness to you. Nothing humbles and breaks the
heart, like God's mercy and love. In Luke 7, the Lord
Jesus shows mercy to that notorious sinner, and then
she falls down at His feet, and loves much and weeps
much, etc.

Oh, if ever you would have your souls kept humble,
dwell upon the free grace and love of God to you in
Christ! Dwell upon . . .
  the firstness of His love,
  the freeness of His love,
  the greatness of His love,
  the fullness of His love,
  the unchangeableness of His love,
  the everlastingness of His love, and
  the ardency of His love.
If this does not humble you, there is nothing
on earth which will do it.
Dwell upon what God has
undertaken for you. Dwell upon the choice and
worthy gifts which He has bestowed on you. Dwell
upon that eternal glory and happiness which He has
prepared for you--and then be proud if you can.

Thomas Brooks, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ

A truly humble man

A truly humble man is sensible of his natural distance from God; of his dependence on Him; of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God's power that he is upheld and provided for, and that he needs God's wisdom to lead and guide him, and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him.

- Jonathan Edwards

The Happiest Christians

They are the happiest Christians,
who have the lowest thoughts of themselves,
 and in whose eyes Jesus is most glorious and precious.

John Newton's Letters

"Unto you who believe He is precious." 1 Peter 2:7

Work for God's eye

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1

No grace shines more brightly in a Christian, than humility. Wherever SELF comes in--it mars the beauty of the work we are doing. Seek to do your work noiselessly. Do not try to draw attention to yourself--to make others know that you did some beautiful thing. Be content to pour your rich life into other wasted, weary lives--and see them blessed and made more holy--and then hide away and let Christ have the honor. Work for God's eye--and even then, do not think much about reward. Seek to be a blessing--and never think of self-glory.

"Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:4

J. R. Miller, In Green Pastures

The more God uses us, the less we think of ourselves

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Psalm 51:17.

If you and I have a broken spirit, all idea of our own importance is gone. What is the use of a broken heart? Why, much the same as the use of a broken pot, or a broken jug, or a broken bottle! Men throw it on the dunghill! Hence David says, “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise,’’ as if he felt that everybody else would despise it. Now, do you feel that you are of no importance? Though you know that you are a child of God, do you feel that you would not give a penny for yourself? You would not wish to claim the first place. The rear rank suits you best and you wonder that you are in the Lord’s army in any rank at all. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, I believe that the more God uses us, the less we shall think of ourselves, and the more He fills us with His Spirit, the more will our own spirit sink within us in utter amazement that He should ever make use of such broken vessels as we are! Well now, indulge that feeling of nothingness and unimportance! Not only indulge it as a feeling, but go and act upon it! And be you in the midst of your Brothers and Sisters less than the least—humble yourselves in wonder that God should permit your name to stand on the roll of His elect at all. Admire the Grace of God to you and marvel at it in deep humiliation of spirit. That is part of the sacrifice that God will not despise!

- C. H. Spurgeon, Repentance After Conversion, No. 2419

A "proud" Christian

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5

Humility may be defined as consisting in:
1. a profound self-abasement before God, arising from a deep sense of our sinfulness;
2. and in a low estimation of ourselves, as we stand related to our fellow creatures, whatever is the extent of our attainments, or the importance of the station we occupy.

Upon this subject, too much stress cannot be laid--for without humility, true religion cannot possibly exist. A proud Christian is a contradiction in terms. We might as well speak of a wise fool, of a wicked saint, of a sober drunkard, or of a chaste harlot--as of a proud Christian! We may as soon expect delicate flowers to flourish in the frozen and barren regions of Siberia--as that true piety should grow in the heart that is proud and haughty. A vine might as well thrive when a worm is gnawing at its root--as that the soul should prosper and be in health, when its arrogance and pride are not subdued.

One of the Fathers of the Church, when asked which was the first principle in religion, replied, Humility. When asked which was the second, he said, Humility. And when asked which was the third, he again answered, Humility. So important was this grace in his estimation, that he regarded it as the beginning, the middle, and the end of true godliness. And we may truly say that where humility is absent, everything else in religion, is in vain. A person may possess the most splendid talents--he may have the gift of miracles, and the knowledge of all mysteries--but without true humility he is, in the sight of God, nothing but sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

- John MacDuff, The Footsteps of Jesus, 1856

The Path to the Higher Life

Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart. - Matthew 11:29

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. - Matthew 20:27

Brethren, here is the path to the higher life. Down, lower down! This was what Jesus ever said to the disciples who were thinking of being great in the kingdom, and of sitting on His right hand and His left. Seek not, ask not for exaltation; that is God's work. Look to it that you abase and humble yourselves, and take no place before God or man but that of servant; that is your work; let that be your one purpose and prayer. God is faithful. Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds the creature abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless. He that humbles himself -- that must be our one care -- shall be exalted; that is God's care; by His mighty power and in His great love He will do it.

Men sometimes speak as if humility and meekness would rob us of what is noble and bold and manlike. Oh that all would believe that this is the nobility of the kingdom of heaven, that this is the royal spirit that the King of heaven displayed, that this is Godlike, to humble oneself, to become the servant of all! This is the path to the gladness and the glory of Christ's presence ever in us, His power ever resting on us.

Jesus, the meek and lowly One, calls us to learn of Him the path to God. Let us study the words we have been reading, until our heart is filled with the thought: My one need is humility. And let us believe that what He shows, He gives; what He is, He imparts. As the meek and lowly One, He will come in and dwell in the longing heart.

- Andrew Murray, 1828-1917, Humility, The Beauty of Holiness

Humility in Daily Life

"He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
--1 John 4:20

What a solemn thought, that our love to God will be measured by our everyday intercourse with men and the love it displays; and that our love to God will be found to be a delusion, except as its truth is proved in standing the test of daily life with our fellow-men. It is even so with our humility. It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God: humility towards men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real; that humility has taken up its abode in us; and become our very nature; that we actually, like Christ, have made ourselves of no reputation. When in the presence of God lowliness of heart has become, not a posture we pray to Him, but the very spirit of our life, it will manifest itself in all our bearing towards our brethren. The lesson is one of deep import: the only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignificance of daily life are the importance and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us. It is in our most unguarded moments that we really show and see what we are. To know the humble man, to know how the humble man behaves, you must follow him in the common course of daily life.

Is not this what Jesus taught? It was when the disciples disputed who should be greatest; when He saw how the Pharisees loved the chief place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues; when He had given them the example of washing their feet,--that He taught His lessons of humility. Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men.

- Andrew Murray, 1828-1917, Humility, The Beauty of Holiness


The Secret of Abiding Gladness

"Most gladly will I glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me; wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses."

The humble man has learnt the secret of abiding gladness. The weaker he feels, the lower he sinks; the greater his humiliations appear, the more the power and the presence of Christ are his portion, until, as he says, "I am nothing," the word of his Lord brings ever deeper joy: "My grace is sufficient for thee."

- Andrew Murray, 1828-1917, Humility, The Beauty of Holiness

He had to be humbled

And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. - Luke 22:61 - 62

I thank God for the story of Peter. I do not know a man in the Bible who gives us greater comfort. When we look at his character, so full of failures, and at what Christ made him by the power of the Holy Spirit, there is hope for every one of us. But remember, before Christ could fill Peter with the Holy Spirit and make a new man of him, he had to go out and weep bitterly; he had to be humbled.

- Andrew Murray, 1828-1917, Humility, The Beauty of Holiness, Cha. 4, Peter's Repentance





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"I am the light of the world" John 8:12