Tuesday, August 19, 2008
As mentioned earlier, I have recently read C. J. Mahaney's excellent book Humility: True Greatness. This book was a great help and encouragement to me. I don't know about you, but for me, battling against the sin of pride is one of the hardest things I struggle with. Have I seen a decrease in the amount of pride in my life after reading this book? No. To the contrary, I am more aware of areas in my life where I harbor pride than ever before. The author himself mentions that it is necessary to be aware of our greatest enemy, pride, so that we might be faithful and active in waging war against it by pursuing humility.
The book provides many practical and helpful ways to help us do this on a daily and lifelong basis. It also mentions that the best (and only sure) way to truly cultivate humility in our lives is to "Reflect on the wonder of the cross of Christ."
C. J. Mahaney writes:
"To be truly serious and deliberate in mortifying pride and cultivating greatness, you must each day survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died.
'Fill your affections with the cross of Christ,' write John Owen, 'that there may be no room for sin.' And that includes no room for pride.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote the following about the surest way to pursue humility:
'There is only one thing I know of that crushes me to the ground and humiliates me to the dust, and that is to look at the Son of God, and especially contemplate the cross.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride
Nothing else can do it. When I see that I am a sinner... that nothing but the Son of God on the cross can save me, I'm humbled to the dust....Nothing but the cross can give us this spirit of humility.'
John Stott helps us understand why the cross has this powerful effect:
'Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to be saying to us "I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying." Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.'"
Where can we go when guilty of pride and selfish living? Where can we run to find peace and forgiveness for "this sin of pride that God hates"? The cure is the cross! The only place where we can rightly view our nothingness in light of the glory and love of our merciful Savior! Flee to the cross of the only humble one!