In 1908, London’s Times newspaper asked numerous authors to respond to the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” Journalist G.K. Chesterton had the shortest answer: “Dear sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton.
Chesterton was a Christian and knew his heart because he knew his Bible. I think only a believer has a true shot at being humble. If the person actually succeeds he/she won’t know it. But since God says he gives grace to humble people, it’s something to reach for.
Spurgeon said that humility is to make a right estimate of one’s self. The trouble is that without the corrective lenses of Scripture and the Spirit of God–and, the people of God, we will always think better of ourselves than we should–or worse than we should. Living in a culture still bowing to the idol of self-esteem we may even think humility is dysfunctional.
Actually, widespread humility would transform our churches, families, and groups. And perhaps free us more than we could imagine if we could just endure the painful work the Spirit’s going to do. Several years ago we began using C.J. Mahaney’s Humility: True Greatness as a text for training church leaders. To your soul, this tiny book is worth more than twice its weight in gold. In addition to yourself, others near you will be blessed because of what God does in you through it.
…where there’s an absence of edifying words there’s also normally the presence of pride and of self-righteousness, because those who are proud are too preoccupied with themselves and think too highly of themselves to care about building others up or to be sensitive to their true needs. It’s the humble who are perceptive; they’re skilled in discerning the work of God in others because they care about others and want to serve others. (p.121)