Jonathan Edwards:

An eminent saint is not apt to think himself eminent in any thing; all his graces and experiences are ready to appear to him to be comparatively small; but especially his humility. There is nothing that appertains to Christian experience, and true piety, that is so much out of his sight as his humility. He is a thousand times more quick-sighted to discern his pride, than his humility: that he easily discerns, and is apt to take much notice of, but hardly discerns his humility. (Religious Affections, 334-35)

Are you often aware of your own humility? Then you’re probably not humble.

Have you noticed your pride? Then you may be more humble than you realize.

Here are two signs of Christian maturity: a keen eye to discern your sins and blessed self-forgetfulness.

Father, make me humble. Make me love the Lord with all my heart and love my neighbor as myself. Give me that glorious paradox: the ability to see my sin and at the same time look away from myself. And when I am tempted to posture and position as the world does, remind me that the meek will inherit the earth.

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Comments:


22 thoughts on “Your Humility Should Be Hardly Discerned”

  1. Curtis says:

    I’ve always thought humility was one of my spiritual gifts… ;)

  2. Thank you for this, Kevin. Self-conscious humility is not humility at all.

    I have this terrible joke I sometimes say to my wife. It is a lot like the funny comment above. I tell her that: “my humility is the best part about me.” She almost never laughs at that.

  3. J. Dean says:

    Hey now! I’m humble and proud of it!

    :D

  4. MatthewS says:

    I have been really noticing my pride lately… ;-)

  5. You should be proud of this post. ;)

  6. Kathleen says:

    Unfortunately my pride is so great that when I read this, I think, “Wow, I see my pride all the time! Maybe I’m actually pretty humble!” Lord have mercy on me!

    Thanks for the good reminder and challenge.

  7. Aimee Byrd says:

    Thank you, this has been on my heart lately. In my prideful moments, I try to remind myself that humility can also be an action (or maybe, fruit). Particularly, recognizing my proper place in a situation and being content in that…receiving the role God has put me in with joy.

  8. Heather Joy says:

    Amen. Thank you for posting this.

  9. Miguel says:

    “…a keen eye to discern your sins and blessed self-forgetfulness.”
    What a helpful paradox to keep in mind. Well put!

  10. Jason says:

    Kev: You’re my hero. Good words. Good blog. Good heart.

  11. Accountability Partner says:

    Yes…apparently the humility of David Wilkerson caused this great saint to be invisible. This man of The Lord went home to be with The Lord two days ago. Look up the word humility in a dictionary. His picture is beside it.

  12. David Dorr says:

    I just read this section in Edwards, which was like running a gauntlet. But self-forgetfulness, which is humility, would by definition, help us get off the treadmill of considering our humility and our pride. As Lewis says, “we will not even be thinking about ourselves at all.” and when we are not thinking of ourselves, we are free to think of God and others. For when we think of our humility we are often very prideful, and when we think of our pride that is really not humility, although that, at least, puts us on the path of self-forgetfulness.

  13. IF THE CHURCH HAS HUMILITY THEN THEY OUT TO BE ASHAMED FOR JOINING KOCH BROTHERS IN TRYING TO CONTROL OUR NATION , BY SO CALLED RELIGION. I WAS IN CHURCH BUT NEVER AGAIN I HAVE AWAYS BEEN A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT WICH HAS MORE LOVE AND COMPATION FOR HUMMANS IN THEIR HANDS , TEA PARTY HAS DONE NOTHING IN FACT THE REPUBLICAINS HAVE NEVER ACCOMPLIMENTS EVER EITHER BUT DISTROY PEOPLES, JOBS AND LIVES OUT OF GREED. I AM BLIND , BUT WORKED ALLMY LIFE 2 JOBS,NOW I AM RETIERD AND ON MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY, WHICH, I PAID IN, AND HAVE A 14 YR SON. TELL ME IF YOU ALL SO ANTI WOMEN AND ANTI ABORTION, YOU ARE SO TRYING TO CAUSE GINICIED OF THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR CHILDREN AND DISTROYING MIDDLE CLASS TO PLUNG US INTO KKK PURITAN MORAL CODE, AKA, SLAVERY. OH AMERICA IN HISTORY WAS NEVER A CHRISTAN NATION ONLY CHRISTAIN INTOLLERANCE. NOW ARE YOU LIVING IN HUMMILITY?? SINCERLY RHEA CHERRITH.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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