6.04.2008

Quotes on Humility

Where in the world did I come up with the ideas that flowed into my last post? Well, if you asked me, I would have said that I couldn't list most, but that it was a lifetime of reading and listening to preachers and teachers, and a lifetime of pretending to be humble when I really was anything but, and then a transition to not worrying about what anyone but God thought, and the baby steps toward humility I am finally experiencing as I learn to encounter God and see only Him, and not even be conscious of myself, rather than see myself as something small and dirty (a paraphrase of CS Lewis in Mere Christianity, I believe). But, here:


Dallas Willard: "Imagine a bumper sticker that says: “My child learned humility at school this month,” instead of “My child is an honor student at Success Academy.” The fact of the matter is this: the essence of morality is to tell you that in some circumstances you must do what you don’t want to do. If you have already set it up that you should be able to do whatever you want to do, then goodbye morality. Empiricism will just become an excuse."

Dallas Willard: "A vision of God secures humility. Seeing God for who He is enables us to see ourselves for what we are. This makes us bold, for we see clearly what great good and evil are at issue, and we see that it is not up to us to accomplish it, but up to God--who is more than able. We are delivered from pretending, from being presumptuous about ourselves, and from pushing as if the outcome depended on us. We persist without frustration, and we practice calm and joyful noncompliance with evil of every kind."

Frederick Buechner: “If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.”

Henri Nouwen: "Success, popularity and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of a much larger temptation of self-rejection. We have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions ... Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the 'Beloved'. Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence."

Frederick Buechner: “Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality--not as we expect it to be but as it is--is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.”

Tryon Edwards: "True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us."

Charles H. Spurgeon: "Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself."

David Benner: ""In all of creation, identity is a challenge only for humans. A tulip knows exactly what it is. It is never tempted by false ways of being. Nor does it face complicated decisions in the process of becoming. So it is with dogs, rocks, trees, stars, amoebas, electrons, and all other things. All give glory to God by being exactly what they are. For in being what God means them to be, they are obeying him. Humans, however, encounter a more challenging existence...With a little reflection, most of us can become aware of masks we first adopted as strategies to avoid feelings of vulnerability but that have become parts of our social self. Tragically, we settle easily for pretense, and a truly authentic self often seems illusory. There is, however, a way of being for each of us that is as natural and deeply congruent as the life of the tulip.... Our true self-in-Christ is the only self that will support authenticity."

Rabino Nilton Bonder: "Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when, in fact, it is a point of equilibrium. The opposite of pride is actually a lack of self esteem. A humble person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as part of this world's marvels."

Ezra Taft Benson: "Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."

John J. McCloy: "Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them."

Steve Smith: "Humility is at the equilibrium of ego. When we’re on center, we manage our ego rather than it managing us."

Martin Buber: "We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world; so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully. "

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