Be Transformed by Christ's Example "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." —1 Peter 5:5 A battle rages within every one of us every day. It's the clash between our sense of stubborn self-sufficiency and God's call to recognize that we're really nothing without Him. It’s pride versus humility. And it’s a fight we can’t win without looking repeatedly to Christ and the cross.
C. J. Mahaney raises a battle cry to daily, diligently, and deliberately weaken our greatest enemy (pride) and cultivate our greatest friend (humility). His thorough examination clarifies misconceptions, revealing the truth about why God detests pride and turns His active attention to the humble. Because pride is never passive, defeating it demands an intentional attack. The blessing that follows is God’s abundant favor“Given pride’s pervasive presence in my life, I come to this book in holy fear, yet inspired by God’s promises to be humble and sobered by his warnings to the proud (Isaiah 66:2b, 1 Peter 5:5b).
Scripture reveals to us that, while pride was the first and most serious sin, God is decisively drawn to humility and is specifically supportive of the humble. Only Christ has fully obeyed Isaiah 66:2b (“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word”), yet He did so as our representative! How marvelous that in our daily battle against pride we can rely on God’s grace, through the gospel, and thus bring honor and glory to God.” —C. J. Mahaney
- well written
- Highly Recommended
I have just finished re-reading this book (Audio version this time), as it is totally in line with our current series in Philippians. What can I say? This is an awesome book! Small book written in a simple easy to understand language. Everyone who calls themselves a Christian should read this book.
Mahaney hits the points square on and challenges us to turn from our pride and arrogance - which, until reading this book I did not realize was in my life. He opens up the scriptures to convict us, and to show us out need to repent in a humble and grace-filled way that is easy to listen to.
I have posted the "List of suggestions on how to weaken pride and cultivate humility" from the back of the book on my office wall next to my computer, so I can be reminded all day long of what I can do the work on my Humility.
- The content is dead on....
The content is dead on. Humility is written with some strong exhortations mixed with very practical applications. Granted, we are not all going to play golf, but what Mahaney is saying is that there are many everyday ways in which you can cultivate humility in your life without becoming a monk and secluding yourself from the rest of the world.
The audiobook was very well done as well. This was the first time I had listened to Sean Runnette read a book from christianaudio. He read with feeling and emotion. It was as though he was being deeply impacted by what he was reading and wanted to relay that on to those who would be listening later. His pace of reading and voice were both steady and strong. The audiobook was a joy to listen to.
Humility is a topic that is extremely tough to write about without coming off as arrogant. C.J. Mahaney succeeded in doing just that. He writes with a genuine humility that is seen or heard whenever he steps into a pulpit to preach. He comes across as one acutely aware of his sin and God’s grace which is needed today more than ever.
I would recommend to every pastor or leader in the local church that they read and discuss this book with others. I would also recommend that any Christian read this book. Perhaps a youth group study would be advisable on the contents of Humility.
- Show ALL Reviews
- As an American, I can say...
As an American, I can say that Humility by C. J. Mahaney is book I needed to hear. Our society tells us that we should look out for ourselves and do whatever our urges and impulses tell us to do. Because of our cultural conditioning, we are a nation that is quite proud. Unfortunately, the church is not exempt from this cultural conditioning, and humility is something that is often lacking in the church.
Mahaney urges believers to fight pride using the spiritual disciplines. The spiritual disciplines help believers not only to grow as Christians but they also help us become humble like Christ. Mahaney offers us creative ways to practice the spiritual disciplines when we wake up in the morning, when we lie down at night, and as we live each day. Some of the creative suggestions Mahaney offers include thanking God each morning for a good night’s rest and using our commute time to memorize and meditate upon the Bible.
Humility was very well written. Mahaney uses plenty of examples from his life to illustrate the principles that he discusses. The audio book version was well read by Arthur Morey. It was edifying for my life; I believe that it will be edifying for any Christian who takes the time to listen.
I am grateful to Christian Audio for the opportunity to review this book as a part of their reviewers program.
- Before I listened to this audiobook,...
Before I listened to this audiobook, I had a preconceived notion about what this book would be about. My thoughts echoed the author in that I thought it was ironic that somebody would be writing a book about humility. 'Humility: True Greatness” discusses the true, biblical definition of humility, and it delves into a deeper understanding about humility and what it encompasses. Humility is not just self-effacing. Humility is seeing ourselves how God sees us: wretched sinners. That's nothing to be proud of!
Mahaney recommends several practical, biblical-based ideas on how to practice humility. His suggestions help the Christian with the sanctification process with practices in true worship, study in theology, better prayer life, and continual honest examination of oneself.
Throughout the book, Mahaney eloquently speaks of the Cross. I appreciate the fact that this book was truly a “Christian” book, in which he shares the Gospel throughout the book. That's what true humility is about—it's keeping the Cross at the forefront of your mind and seeing yourself in it's light. Although, he doesn't say it outright, Mahaney has an obvious Calvinistic view of soteriology. However, the way he explains it, a Christian cannot deny that seeing themselves (though a depraved sinner) as being “called” by God is very humbling.
“Humility: True Greatness” is thought-provoking, heart and mind-opening, convicting, and truly humbling.
This review was written as part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program.
- I have finished listening to an...
I have finished listening to an audio book entitled Humility: True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney.
Humillity is something that goes against our culture, and yet as Christians we are to be like Christ who was the perfect example of humility. While we tend to focus so much attention on wanting to be great in this life, what is "true greatness?" This book was so easy to relate to and apply the principles he shared to life. I liked how the author used examples from his own life in search of humility.
One thing I took away from this book was the ideas regarding parenting. Are we teaching our children to focus on "true greatness," or do we put too much emphasis on greatness by the world's standards? What does it take for us to see our children as great....if they are sucessful in sports, academics, or their careers? Or if they follow Christ? Where is our focus in our families?
Also, this book really made me stop and think about Christ's example of humility.
The author did an excellent job in this book I believe and I recommend this book to you. The narrator was interesting to listen to as well with this audio book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
- A friend shared quote that I...
A friend shared quote that I think is the central issue with humility. "Every problem in the world is a relationship problem. The problem with relationships is pride. The solution to that problem is humility."
The older I get, the more I want to say that real and deep wisdom comes with age. Not that with age comes wisdom, because I know many older people that have never acquired wisdom. But that in order to really develop wisdom, you need some years. C.J. Mahaney is a good example of someone that has put in the time and effort into developing wisdom. Humility is a great example of a good book that if we put it into practice will help us move in the direction of spiritual growth, wisdom, and of course, humility.
The first section of Humility is devoted to a description of what is and is not humility, and why pride, the opposite of humility, is the root of all other sin. Mahaney uses a simple way to help describe pride. Pride is when "we contend with God for supremacy". He says that years before contemplating this book he started making confession to God, and occasionally to others, around pride. He stopped saying, "Please forgive me for my pride" and started saying "Please forgive me for contending with God for supremacy." This focuses him more on what pride, and humility, are really about.
The remainder of the book (about the last 75 percent) is devoted to practical ways to encourage humility. Some of them are practices of spiritual devotion, along the lines of Spiritual Devotions for the Christian Life (my review) which is specifically mentioned. But there are many others, like re-claiming our commute. There is also an extended section on sleep, why it is important, why God created it and what we should do for spiritual benefit as we get ready for it. This is probably the closest that anyone I am aware of has come to a theology of sleep.
There is also an extended discussion on Habakkuk about the relationship of suffering and humility. There is good quote from DA Carson, "The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough and we will suffer." Mahaney then suggests that we need to prepare to respond humbly to trials. He does not really deal with the problem of evil (why is there suffering) but instead focuses on how suffering can allow us to better focus on humility before God.
The final section is on parenting. I am not a parent, but I am a full time nanny for my two nieces (2 1/2 and 1). I think the 15 minutes (on audiobook) or so of why we should focus on developing humility in our children and some practical steps on how to do it are worth the price of the book. Like the rest of the book, the parenting section isn't revolutionary, but it is clear, succinct and convicting. Overall this is a great book.
- I've always thought that few people...
I've always thought that few people could write a book about humility with a straight face and a clear conscience. Apparently CJ Mahaney is one of them. Throughout the book Mahaney never expresses himself in a prideful or arrogant manner, and I can attest to that as an expert in exemplifying both those characteristics (hence my desire to listen to this audio book).
In the foreword by Joshua Harris of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" fame, we learn that Mahaney helped train up Harris to take his place as pastor. For a pastor to serve as long as Mahaney has and to pass off the reins to a much younger man takes a servant’s heart.
Throughout the book Mahaney gives sound pastoral guidance in understanding humility and pride, giving practical advice, especially when it comes to rooting out the sin of pride and developing humility in your spiritual walk. It is not a theological treatise void of application, though theology is expressed throughout in a way that is neither overbearing nor bland.
Sean Runnette does a great job narrating and carries forward the pastoral tone inherent in the book. Even if the narrator weren’t as good, the book would still be worth getting—so I consider it an added bonus that the narrator fits the book so perfectly.
- Many Christian books are nice little...
Many Christian books are nice little treatises on things you already know, already agree with, and happily nod about without much life change. Some are educational, but not necessarily transformative. C.J. Mahaney’s Humility is, thankfully, neither. In this brief work from one of the T4G guys, readers gain knowledge, receive practical advice, and feel powerful conviction.
Normally I’d be breaking this down into what I liked, what I disliked, and a set of recommendations. I don’t, however, have any real complaints, so I’m just going to share with you the three main points I love about this book.
Mahaney is wonderfully gospel-centered. C.J. recognizes that the most important aid in our humility is not a set of prescribed exercises. No, the cross is the most important way for us to become more humble. As we allow our minds to again ponder the fact that our sin is so vile, so ugly, so evil, and so costly that it could only be paid for by the brutal death of the Son of god in concert with the Father’s outpouring of his wrath, we are humbled, wonderfully humbled.
Mahaney also teaches well that humility is not merely a virtue that we might want to cultivate among many others. Instead, he argues well that pride is our greatest enemy and that humility, therefore, must be our best friend. If we want joy in our Christian lives, we must cultivate humility.
This work also contains many very helpful tips. Mahaney offers practical advice in a winsome way to point Christians toward developing godly humility. The advice is the kind of stuff that average folks can really do, but not so simplistic that fairly mature believers can’t learn a thing or two.
The bottom line here is that I am very fond of Humility. Mahaney did a good job. He’s fun, funny, helpful, humble, and piercing. If you are a believer in Christ, you can definitely benefit from spending some time with C.J. and working to rid yourself of pride and cultivate humility.
- In Humility, C.J. Mahaney writes of...
In Humility, C.J. Mahaney writes of the importance of humility for Christians and how we can become more humble.
The first section of the book deals with why humility is important and biblical. Some of this section was quite interesting but it tended to drag on somewhat leaving me tempted to skip forward. Someone interested enough in humility to buy the book probably isn't going to require that much convincing.
Further into the book, Mahaney discusses practical things we can do to develop humility. This is where the book shines. His advice is both on personal disciplines and acting humble in the context of various types of relationships. I'm sure everyone will find something to take on from this section. I found some ideas for developing humility that I wouldn't have thought of myself.
Mahaney also writes about a Christian response to suffering. He bases this on the book of Habakkuk. While at times I was a little lost as to what it had to do with humility, it was nonetheless worthwhile to read.
In reviewing this book I listened to the audiobook version. The narrator tended to read a little on the slow side with frequent pauses. For most of the book this wasn't much of a problem but it made the long first section a bit harder to get through.
I recommend this book. I think all Christians would benefit from this in some way.
- I have read many a book...
I have read many a book on the topic of humility and this one is by far the best. For a number of reasons. When reading a book on humility it is easy to get beat up and realize how much you do not measure up to our perfect example of humility (Jesus) and that can easily leave you feeling condemned. This book pulls no punches but it also reminds you of God's grace and our need for it, which is especially a helpful reminder when hitting a topic like this.
Not only that but it is filled with a lot of very very practical examples of how we can, by God's grace of course, harbor habits which lead to humility in our everyday lives. And since it is a book by C.J. Mahaney, you know that it is very very cross centered. In fact there is one entire chapter on what the gospel and from that point the book shows how that creates (or should create) humility in the life of a believer.
I got the audio book of this from ChristianAudio.com and always enjoy what I download from them. The narrator, Sean Runnette, does a fine job and makes this an easy listen.
All in all, I highly suggest this for everyone, no matter how mature or immature you are, we can always use a good healthy dose of humility and a reminder of God's grace to make us more humble.
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." —1 Peter 5:5
- "If I met someone presuming to...
"If I met someone presuming to have something to say about humility, automatically I’d think him unqualified to speak on the subject."
So are the feelings of CJ Mahaney as he wrote his book, Humility: True Greatness. But Mahaney’s work merits your attention, at least for one primary reason.
He is writing as a fellow pilgrim pursing humility by the grace of God. His goal? Help you make humility the everyday attire of your life instead of a mere performance. Mahaney approaches that goal in the only effective manner.
What is the only effective way to find humility? By recognizing that humans “cannot free ourselves from pride and selfish ambition; a divine rescue is absolutely necessary.” Yes, we must redefine greatness to mean serving others instead of being served. Yes, we must see the foolishness of pride. But in the end, all endeavors to find humility are futile if they do not lead you do the cross of Christ. Christ alone offers hope for humility by ransoming us from bondage to pride.
I highly recommend this audiobook…it ranks in the top tier of books I’ve read. Evidence: I’ve read the print version several times as well as listened to the audio from christianaudio.com [that's a dual statement of the book's quality and my need]. The book itself is no salvation, but it clearly explains the gospel of Jesus Christ who alone offers real humility. The kind of authentic servant’s heart that you’ve never found anywhere else.
- Writing a book on humility is...
Writing a book on humility is a bit odd, because it assumes that the author thinks he knows best about the subject – a problem C.J. identifies quickly. he would never admit to being humble, but I can think of few who would be more qualified than he to write this book. Humility: True Greatness seeks to redefine greatness according to God’s, rather than our, standards. Using a wide variety of Bible passages, and personal experience, C.J. takes us through the logic behind God’s view of humility vs. pride, then develops very practical tips and applies them to real life.
While the content of the book really goes no deeper than explaining the title (that humility is true greatness), the real impact comes in the practical application, which is plentiful. This book is excellent, funny, biblical, insipiring, challenging, convicting, and downright, you guessed it, humble!
Even the narrator is good. Knowing C.J.’s voice I was hoping for something that would do him justice, and the narrator does.
I received this audiobook for free as part of christianaudio.com’s book reviewer programme. I’m not required to give a positive review.
- The book has a lot of...
The book has a lot of great challenging thoughts about humility and pride. It seems to be coming from a Reformed viewpoint. As one coming from an Wesleyan - Armenian understanding of the scriptures, it was a little difficult processing some of the things that he said at face value after he stated emphatically over and over how full of pride he was, as well as every other person on the planet, and that there is nothing that can be done to fix the problem. To summarize, I felt like the gist of what he wrote was, “I am not fixed; you are not fixed; no one can be fixed; but let’s talk about what it would be like to be fixed.” I happen to believe that God has a better cure for the problem of sin than that.
C.J. Mahaney is a good writer, and the narrator Sean Runnette did a good job coming close to a “mellow version” of the real C.J. Mahaney.
- Writing a book on humility has...
Writing a book on humility has got to be tough. During the entire process one's pride must be constantly under attack and yet continues to rise for more. It takes a special person. It takes a qualified person. It takes a humbled persons. CJ Mahaney is that guy. One of the most important books for Christians too read, I believe, is his book, "Humility: True Greatness." Over recent years, I have grown to love Mahaney, his sermons and his books. This is perhaps his most important work.
If Christians would learn to hand their pride over to Christ and live in humility, we would be a more godly Church and a more authentic Church. Pride is both consuming us and destroying us. Mahaney writes a book that needs to be read by all. What I particularly love about Mahaney's work is his focus on Christ and the cross. It is at the cross that we are humbled the most. There, Christ accomplished what we could not. There, Christ died for us. If that doesn't humble us, nothing will.
In addition to the centrality of the cross, Mahaney offers great practical advice in conquering pride in our lives. And, as expected, these practical steps are biblical and center on the cross. Mahaney offers biblical advice mixed with hilarious stories where pride overthrows common sense (I liked the story about putting air in the tires). These stories we can all relate to and they illustrate exactly how easily pride enters our lives. If only we would humble ourselves at the cross, we would be the sort of Christians Christ has called us to be.
I read this book several times over the years and recently listened to it through an audio download from http://www.christianaudio.com/. To download the book, click here. Though the reader did not keep my attention as other readers I have downloaded at the site, he still did a good job. With a book this good, the read does an adequate job at presenting the text.
Overall, I encourage everyone to take the time to read this little book. It is much needed in our day. Pride is the root of many of our sins. We desperately need to cultivate humility.