Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lewis and Edwards on Layers of Self-Admiration and the Gift of Humility

John Piper reproduces two excellent quotes, one from C.S. Lewis and one from Jonathan Edwards. He concludes:

One of the reasons these two are such giants of influence is the depths of their own biblically informed self-knowledge. Layer after layer until they despaired of knowing themselves humble. Humility, it turns out isn’t the kind of thing that can be spotted in oneself and prized.

Humility senses that humility is a gift beyond our reach. If humility is the product of reaching, then we will instinctively feel proud about our successful reach. Humility is the gift that receives all things as gift. It is the fruit not of our achievement but of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is the fruit of the gospel—knowing and feeling that we are desperate sinners and that Christ is a great and undeserved Savior.

Humility is the one grace in all our graces that, if we gaze on it, becomes something else. It flourishes when the gaze is elsewhere—on the greatness of the grace of God in Christ.

Read the whole thing.