The Humility Story: The Words that Started this Storytelling

Why humility, anyway? It would have been preferable that I pursue a story of love or joy, something with a smiling cultural face to it. A sermon by John Piper tipped me off in this direction with this quotation by John Calvin:

I have always been exceedingly delighted with the words of Chrysostom, ‘The foundation of our philosophy is humility,’ and still more with those of Augustine, ‘As the orator, when asked, What is the first precept in eloquence? answered, Delivery: What is the second? Delivery: What the third? Delivery: so, if you ask me in regard to the precepts of the Christian Religion, I will answer, first, second, and third, Humility.

John Piper explains Calvin this way:

Why is humility so pervasive as to be the first, second, and third precept of Christianity? It is the work of God under everything that makes all other good things in Christianity possible. For example:

Faith. Would anyone depend on Christ as a needy, weak, and sinful person, if God hadn’t made him humble?

Worship. Would anyone earnestly make much of the worth of God, instead of craving to be made much of himself, if God hadn’t made him humble?

Obedience. Would anyone surrender his autonomy and submit obediently to the absolute authority of Scripture, if God had not made him humble?

Love. Would anyone seek the good of others at great cost to himself, if God hadn’t made him humble?

It’s that line of Piper’s that really catches me: It is the work of God under everything that makes all other good things in Christianity possible. What else but the work of God — the gospel — personifies humility so tangibly for humankind? How else could I really define humility except with this one word: gospel? All of my faith, all of my worship, all of my obedience, all of my love flow out of the gospel. Perhaps that’s why I could land in no other place but the lap of the gospel when I first struggled with that word humility. There is no other place to land.

Would you like to join me?  The Humility Story is yours, too.  If you have a scene from this story you’d like to blog about, feel free to leave your link in the comments.  We’ll continue this journey together.

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: