Humility: True Greatness. By C.J. Mahaney. Sisters: Multnomah, 2005.
This was a hard book to read. In fact, I would say it ranks toward the top of the list of the most difficult books I have ever read. It wasn’t a hard read because of the length; it’s only 174 pages. It wasn’t a hard read because of the technical language; it’s very conversational in style. It wasn’t a hard read because it was too academic in nature; it’s very practical in nature. It was a hard read because it kept hitting me right between the eyes! The content was difficult because a book on humility is going to reveal ignored areas of pride.
It was a hard read yes, but it was a good read too. I learned. I was convicted but I was also encouraged. It didn’t leave me feeling as if pride is insurmountable and that this is a useless fight against an unbeatable, ever-present foe. It left me with grace, zealous to root pride out of my life by the strength of God, for the glory of God.
Mahaney provides excellent tools on how to sever the root of pride in various ways; at the beginning of your day, the close of your day, having real, open, honest accountability, and the one that stung me the most, how to pass on true greatness to your children. I benefited greatly from his suggestions. However, this book is not a simple list of things to do. Mahaney bases his applications on scriptural truths and examples. The suggestions are just that, mere suggestions of how to appropriate Scripture into our lives, specifically in this case, how to pursue a life of humility.
One of the reasons I looked forward to this book is because of the author. Anyone can write a Christian book on humility by simply studying the relevant passages and making applications. However, it’s a far different context when humility is present in the life of the one speaking to you about humility!! Mahaney is just that kind of author. If you are aware of recent events in his life, having recognized accusations against him, Mahaney voluntarily stepped down from Sovereign Grace and submitted himself to an accountability board to investigate the matter and then decide what actions he should take. That took a lot of grace; that took a lot of humility.
Those events occurred AFTER Mahaney wrote this book! In other words, whatever God had taught him about humility was then put into practice before the entire evangelical world! That’s why I wanted to read this book, and I’m glad I did!
Mahaney was reinstated by the way after a full investigation. I guess it’s true, God does exalt those who humble themselves!