Years ago, I read Respectable Sins, the first book I’d ever read by Jerry Bridges. At the time, I remember feeling a bit undone—in the best way. Without being preachy or combative, condemning or judgmental, he managed to stir up a heart of repentance and draw his readers to the heart of the gospel. He does the same in his book, The Blessing of Humility. Chapter after chapter, Bridges reminded me of my dependence on Christ both to save me and to transform me in this Christian life.
Bridges walks through the Beatitudes in this book and ties each one back to the unifying theme of humility. He caught my attention right from the introduction, saying, “The character trait of humility is the second-most frequently taught trait in the New Testament, second only to love. At one time I counted fifty instances of love taught, either by precept or example, in the New Testament; I counted forty instances of humility.” This study on humility seems especially relevant to me in our look-at-me culture of selfies and Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds and more. It seems like we are always vying for attention.
The Blessing of Humility is quite brief and very to the point. The text itself is about 95 pages and a discussion guide in the back extends the content out, making it useful for small group discussion. It would be easy to make a short book like this little more than a lecture on a theological idea. Bridges doesn’t do that. He shares his own heart, his own need for redemption, his own mistakes, and he seems to come alongside the readers rather than wagging a disappointed finger in our face and shaming us. This itself made the book a treasure, making it feel like a discussion with an honored Christian mentor whose passion for God and His Word inspires and challenges you.
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