Sunday, August 27, 2006

Excercising the Grace of Humility

I discovered a passage from Jeremy Taylor's The Rule and Exercise of Holy Living as quoted in the textbook for my "Introduction to Ethics Class" entitled, An Introduction to Biblical Ethics by Robertson McQuilkin. McQuilkin quotes an extended section from Taylor's work that spells out the exercise of humility in personal living:

The grace of humility is exercised by these rules:

Think not thyself better for anything that happens to thee from without.

If thou callest thyself a fool, be not angry if another says so of thee. He is a hypocrite who accuses himself before others with an intent not to be believed.

Love to be concealed and little esteemed, never being troubled when thou art slighted or undervalued.

Never be ashamed of thy birth, thy parents, or they present employment, or for the poverty of any of them.

Never speak anything directly tending to thy praise or glory.

When thou hast said or done anything for which thou receivest praise, take it indifferently and return it to God for making thee an instrument of His glory.

Use no stratagems and devices to get praise.

Suffer others to be praised in thy presence and think not that the advancement of thy brother is a lessening of thy worth.

Never compare thyself with others....

Be not always ready to excuse every oversight or indiscretion or ill action, but if thou be guilty of it, confess it plainly.

Give God thanks for every weakness, deformity, and imperfection and accept it as a favor and grace of God and an instrument to resist pride.

Upbraid no man's weakness to him to discomfort him. Be sure never to praise thyself or to dispraise any man else, unless God's glory or some holy end do hallow it.

These are wise words, for which we will do well to heed.

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