Over the last year, I’ve spent much of my time reading and studying the book of Matthew. As such, the “Sermon of the Mount” has had content that I have pondered frequently. So, when I received the opportunity to review the book, The Blessing of Humility: Walk within Your Calling, I knew that I wanted to read it.
Author, Jerry Bridges, passed away earlier this year, but he was a prolific author and many people seem to enjoy his devotional and applicational exegesis of passages. I will confess that this is my first experience with Mr. Bridges’s work, and after a perusal of his list of best-selling books, I’ve added several to my “to-read” list.
The Blessing of Humility begins by posing the idea that humility and love are the two most important character qualities (by selection of times mentioned in the scriptures) for the New Testament believer to possess. Mr. Bridges posits as his thesis that the beatitudes are truly pictures of humility in action. So, taking this approach, Bridges spends the remainder of the book examining each of the beatitudes and and comparing scripture with scripture to see how we can applicationally apply these precepts to our lives.
This book is short. It’s about 95 pages before the discussion guide. If you’re reading it, you could probably read straight through the book in an hour or two. However, the weight of what Mr. Bridges is saying really only begins to sink in with repeated reading and reflection. There are so many things that I could say about this book, I could probably write a chapter length treatment, so I decided to just give you three examples.
First, I realized in the chapter on peacemaking, that the reason why I’m not a peacemaker with my children is that I’m holding grudges against them for their childish behavior. I had foolishly put conflict in my relationship with them down to their fault, and I realize now that it’s the evil in my heart towards them and the times I’m withholding love because of my sinful behavior and unforgiveness.
Second, in the chapter on meekness, Bridges makes a brief exegesis of a verse I’m very attracted to in Ephesians 4. In his book, his conclusion is that most of the time we harm each other far more with our speech than with our actions. (Guilty here!) He takes just a little time to point out that in Ephesians 4 that there are two absolutes that Paul gives for our speech in this verse: (1) NO corrupting Talk (2) ONLY such as is good for building up. I truly felt the weight of my own sinfulness here.
Third, in the chapter on being poor in spirit, there was a quote that I loved so much that I had to take a piece of paper and hand-letter it to tape into a page in my Bible. I find that the further I walk in the Christian life, the worse of a sinner I feel like. Bridges reminds us that we aren’t really sinning more; it’s just that we’re becoming more and more aware of the sin that we already had in our lives.
So, at any rate, I thought this was a fantastic book. It’s well worth reading, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.