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Humility And Arrogance

October 23, 2013

Jonathan Edwards in his wonderful book, Charity and Its Fruits:

“Humility tends also to prevent an arrogant and assuming behavior. He that is under the influence of an humble spirit is not forward to take too much upon him, and when he is amongst others, he does not carry it toward them as if he expected and insisted that a great deal of regard should be shown to himself. His behavior does not carry with it the idea that he is the best amongst those about him, and that he is the one to whom the chief regard should be shown, and whose judgment is most to be sought and followed. He does not carry it as if he expected that everybody should bow and truckle to him, and give place to him, as if no one was of as much consequence as himself. He does not put on assuming airs in his common conversation, nor in the management of his business, nor in the duties of religion. He is not forward to take upon himself that which does not belong to him, as though he had power where indeed he has not, as if the earth ought to be subject to his bidding, and must comply with his inclination and purposes.

On the contrary, he gives all due deference to the judgment and inclinations of others, and his behavior carries with it the impression that he sincerely receives and acts on that teaching of the apostle, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phi 2:3). In talking of the things of religion, he has not the air, either in his speech or behavior, of one that esteems himself one of the best saints in the whole company, but he rather carries himself as if he thought, in the expression of the apostle, that he was “less than the least of all saints” (Eph 3:8).”

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