The One Thing We Must Never Lack

Puritan Thomas Watson asserted that, “Pride is the greatest sacrilege; it robs God of his glory” (The Godly Man’s Picture).

If that is correct, then we ought to concern ourselves seriously about the cultivation of pride’s antithesis, humility.

Peter thought so when he exhorted the churches, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

We certainly don’t want to end up on the wrong end of that equation.

What does this kind of humility that brings forth much needed grace look like?

Watson proposed a tenfold test of humility by which we may measure ourselves:

  1. A humble soul is emptied of all swelling thoughts of himself.
  2. A humble soul thinks better of others than of himself.
  3. A humble soul has a low esteem of his duties.
  4. A humble man is always preferring bills of indictment against himself.
  5. A humble man will justify God in an afflicted condition.
  6. A humble soul is a Christ-magnifier.
  7. A humble soul is willing to take a reproof for sin.
  8. A humble man is willing to have his name and gifts eclipsed, so that God’s glory may be increased.
  9. A humble saint likes that condition which God sees best for him.
  10. A humble Christian will stoop to the meanest person and the lowest office; he will visit the poorest member of Christ.

Occasional Puritan hyperbole notwithstanding, how do you fare when you shine the light of these qualities against your own disposition?

Watson declared, “It is better to lack anything rather than humility.” Do you see the Lord growing you in this all-important virtue of humility?

We would do well to make John the Baptist’s rally cry in John 3:30 our own. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

May the Lord grant us grace upon grace for less of us and more of Him.

2 responses

  1. Watson’s top ten is gloriously counter-cultural, and I would encourage anyone to read the chapter from which it originates. I would respectfully (maybe even humbly) part ways with him on point #4, as I did when we convened around this chapter in Oxford Club.

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