“Humility is the soil in which everything good in the Christian life grows.”

I’ve been trying to listen to sermons on my way into work. I have a significant drive — really early — and my hope is that getting started in the Word will get me on the right foot!

Yesterday, I heard that from Pastor John Piper. I quickly scribbled it at a stop light because I knew I wanted to remember it. So here it is again:

“Humility is the soil in which everything good in the Christian life grows.”

Everything?!? If that is true, I’ve got some work to do.

I’ve read stories of some spiritual leaders in days gone by asking their students to do ridiculous things like going into a grocery store and asking for hardware or going into a shoe store and asking for cheese. The point of these exercises was not to annoy the sales clerks, but to attempt to get embarrass the asker and therefore get his or her pride out of the way, if even just a little bit.

The Screwtape Letters

How do I get myself out of the way to allow true growth. If I’m focused on getting myself out of the way, am I not still focused on myself? CS Lewis talked about humility and how tricky it could be in The Screwtape Letters. (If you haven’t read it, The Screwtape Letters are a series of letters from an experienced tempter to a junior tempter advising him on how to trip up the patient (human) and direct him away from worshiping God.) Screwtape quips: “Catch him [the patient] at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, ‘By jove! I’m being humble’, and almost immediately pride — pride at his own humility — will appear.” What a vicious cycle!

I don’t have any answers. I truly am proud at how humble I am sometimes! So I’m enlisting your help.


What do you think? How do we grow in humility?

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think if our focus is on God then we can’t help but be humble. No matter how old we get, it is still a challenge because we ARE human. I started a daily gratitude journal. Every day I write down a gratitude which makes me realize how much God has done and is doing for me ~ very humbling!

    Very thought provoking statement from Pastor John.

    It sounds like you already have the answer or you are on the right path.


    PS Nice to meet you ~ I’m Jenn’s mom and I love your blog.

  2. CHARLSEY! So glad you found me! It made me happy to see your comment, first because your daughter is wonderful and makes me giggle on particularly hard work days and second, because you are reading even though you don’t know me. It makes me feel like an accomplished author. Thanks for the encouragement about “being on the right path” for humility too… ignore the above “accomplished author” comment, I humbly retract it!

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