Category Archives: Pride

“Do you feel yourself sufficient?” by C.S. Lewis

“At the sight of Aslan the cheeks of the Telmarine soldiers became the color of cold gravy, their knees knocked together, and many fell on their faces. They had not believed in lions and this made their fear greater.

Even the Red Dwarfs, who knew that he came as a friend, stood with open mouths and could not speak. Some of the Black Dwarfs, who had been of Nikabrik’s party, began to edge away.

But all the Talking Beasts surged round the Lion, with purrs and grunts and squeaks and whinnies of delight, fawning on him with their tails, rubbing against him, touching him reverently with their noses and going to and fro under his body and between his legs.

If you have ever seen a little cat loving a big dog whom it knows and trusts, you will have a pretty good picture of their behavior. Then Peter, leading Caspian, forced his way through the crowd of animals.

‘This is Caspian, Sir,’ he said.

And Caspian knelt and kissed the Lion’s paw.

‘Welcome, Prince,’ said Aslan. ‘Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?’

‘I— I don’t think I do, Sir,’ said Caspian. ‘I’m only a kid.’

‘Good,’ said Aslan. ‘If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not. Therefore, under us and under the High King, you shall be King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, and Emperor of the Lone Islands. You and your heirs while your race lasts.’

–C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia) (New York: Harper Collins, 1951), 205-206.

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“Bless our modest efforts” by Theodore Beza

“We are able to say, by the grace of God, that we have preached, and continue to preach, the pure truth contained in God’s holy Word. But alas, at what price?

Where is our zeal, our care, and our diligence as pastors? O Lord, support us therefore by Your infininte goodness. Preserve in us a good and right conscience.

Fill us with zeal for Your glory. Increase in us the knowledge, the wisdom, the love, and the endurance required for such a calling.

In sum, be pleased to bless our modest efforts.”

–Theodore Beza, Sermons sur l’histoire de la resurrection de nostre Seigneur Iesus Christ (Geneva: Jean le Preux, 1593), 568. As quoted in Scott Manetsch, Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609 (Oxford: OUP, 2013), 307.

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“Pride cannot live beneath the cross” by Charles Spurgeon

“He humbled Himself.”—Philippians 2:8

“Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples’ feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See Him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be proud!

Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography, ‘He humbled Himself’? Was He not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honour and then another, till, naked, He was fastened to the cross, and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, till they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave?

How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed. See the thorn-crown. Mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills.

See hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self to mockery and scorn. See the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame. Hear the thrilling shriek, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’

And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, then you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son.

Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt.

May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.”

–Charles Spurgeon, “June 3 –  Evening” in Morning and Evening (Geanies House, Fearn, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 1994),  329.

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“A humble soul” by Thomas Brooks

“A humble soul doth highly prize the least of Christ. The least smile, the least good word, the least good look, the least truth, the least mercy, is highly valued by a humble soul. The Canaanitish woman set a high price upon a crumb of mercy. (Matt. 15:27)

Ah, Lord, says the humble soul, if I may not have a loaf of mercy, give me a piece of mercy; if not a piece of mercy, give me a crumb of mercy. If I may not have sun-light, let me have moon-light; if not moon-light, let me have star-light; if not star-light, let me have candle-light; and for that I will bless Thee.

In the time of the law, the meanest things that were consecrated were very highly prized, as leather or wood that was in the tabernacle. A humble soul looks upon all the things of God as consecrated things.

Every truth of God is a consecrated truth; it is consecrated to holy use, and this causes the soul highly to prize it; and so every smile of God, and every discovery of God, and every drop of mercy from God, is very highly prized by a soul that walks humbly with God.

The name of Christ, the voice of Christ, the footsteps of Christ, the least touch of the garment of Christ, the least-regarded truth of Christ, the meanest and least-regarded among the flock of Christ, is highly prized by humble souls that are interested in Christ.

A humble soul cannot, a humble soul dares not, call anything little that has Christ in it; neither can a humble soul call or count anything great wherein he sees not Christ, wherein he enjoys not Christ.

A humble soul highly prizes the least nod, the least love-token, the least courtesy from Christ; but proud hearts count great mercies small mercies, and small mercies no mercies; yea, pride does so unman them, that they often call mercy misery.”

–Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ,” The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Volume 3, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 16.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Humility, Jesus Christ, Mercy, Pride, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Thomas Brooks

“Pride cannot live beneath the cross” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples’ feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See Him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be proud! Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography, ‘He humbled Himself’? (Philippians 2:8)

Was He not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honour and then another, till, naked, He was fastened to the cross, and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, till they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave? How low was our dear Redeemer brought!

How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame.

Hear the thrilling shriek, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten.

Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Evening – June 3,” in Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Vol. 1 (Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 2008), 362-363.

[HT: Blake Hickman]

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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, Christian Theology, Humility, Jesus Christ, Pride, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“Their desire is not to teach but to be teachers” by Carl Trueman

“I am increasingly convinced that pride is the root of problems among students. I was convicted recently by a minister friend quoting to me 1 Timothy 1:5-7 (ESV): ‘The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.’

My friend made two observations about this passage. First, the drift into dubious theological discussion is here described as moral in origin: these characters have swerved from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith; that is why their theology is so dreadful. Second, their desire is not to teach but to be teachers. There is an important difference here: their focus is on their own status, not on the words they proclaim. At most, the latter are merely instrumental to getting them status and boosting their careers.

Thus, what concerns me most is that students may simply desire to be teachers. If that is their motivation, then they have already abandoned a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith, and their theology, no matter how orthodox, is just a means to an end and no sound thing. It is why I am very sceptical of the internal call to the ministry as a decisive or motivating factor in seeking ordination.

Nine times out of ten, I believe that the church should first discern who should be considering the Christian ministry, not simply a rubber-stamp act as a putative internal call which an individual may think he has. Further, such students whose first desire is to be teachers are more likely to try to catch whatever is the latest trendy wave.

Orthodoxy is always doomed to seem uncreative and pedestrian in the wider arena; if the aim is to be a teacher, to be the big shot, then it is more likely that orthodoxy will be less appealing in the long run – though there are those for whom orthodoxy too is simply a means to being a celebrity.”

–Carl Trueman, “Sin in High Places” in Risking the Truth, Ed. Martin Downes (Geanies House, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 2009), 31-32.

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“Our lifelong enemy” by Jerram Barrs

“Pride takes our whole lifetime to die.”

–Jerram Barrs, The Heart of Evangelism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001), 164.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Evangelism, Jerram Barrs, Pride, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification