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    The Soul’s Poison

    I recently witnessed an encounter where someone entirely dismissed and degraded another person. “Leave now,” the instigator said, “you’re not wanted here.” I took great offense for the person who received such cruel treatment. But I also felt profound sadness for the individual who spewed such mean-spirited words. I know how to help one who’s been rejected, but it’s far more difficult to know how to help one whose soul has been poisoned by contempt for another.

    The Interests of Others

    My friend Jaime works for a huge international corporation. In his early days with the company, a man came by his desk, struck up a conversation, and asked Jaime what he did there. After telling the man about his work, Jaime asked the man his name. “My name is Rich,” he replied.

    “Nice to meet you,” Jaime answered. “And what do you do around here?”

    “Oh, I am the owner.”

    Jaime suddenly realized that this casual, humble conversation was his introduction to one of the richest men in the world.

    In this day of self-glorification and the celebration of “me,” this little story can…

    A Heart of Gratitude

    In his memoir Townie, novelist Andre Dubus III shared that his father, also a renowned writer, would write every single morning. After he finished, “He’d count how many words he’d gotten and record the number. After each total, whether it was fifteen hundred or fifty, he wrote ‘Thank you.’ ” This writer had learned the art of gratitude, and it shaped his work—allowing him to see and then write about rich experiences of hope, humanity, and grace.

    The Professor’s Confession

    Horrified by his students’ poor writing habits, renowned author and college professor David Foster Wallace considered how he might improve their skills. That’s when a startling question confronted him. The professor had to ask himself why a student would listen to someone “as smug, narrow, self-righteous, [and] condescending” as he was. He knew he had a problem with pride.

    That professor could and did change, but he could never become one of his students. Yet when Jesus came to Earth, He showed us what humility looks like by becoming one of us. Stepping across all kinds of boundaries, Jesus made Himself at home…

    Know It All

    I had a friend who questioned his Christian workplace’s views of a particular disputable theological matter. Not long after voicing his concerns, he was labeled by co-workers as being theologically suspect. He no longer works for that ministry. But he recently found out that his accusers and the denomination with which the workplace was affiliated ended up agreeing with his stance. Unfortunately, he never received an apology from the group.

    Enjoying God’s good gifts

    We can take pleasure in the homes we live in, the food we eat, or the stuff we have. But if we do, does that mean we’re overly materialistic? Join us today on Discover the Word when our special guest Jeff Manion helps the team explore the difference between loving and enjoying God’s good gifts. […]

    Glory is full of truth

    When you hear “the glory of God,” you might think of radiant light and angelic choirs. But today on Discover the Word, we return for a visit with author Nicole Unice to discuss how God’s glory is marked by amazing grace. It’s part of the series titled, “The Glory Effect.” Listen today to Discover the Word!

    Getting There (2)

    They said to Him, ’Rabbi . . . where are You staying?’ He said to them, ’Come and see’ —John 1:38-39

    Where our self-interest sleeps and the real interest is awakened. “They . . . remained with Him that day . . . .” That is about…

    No more chasing after the wind

    Discontentment is something that can impact even those who seem to “have it all.” Ryan and LaMorris share their stories of finding true, lasting contentment at the Source of all satisfaction. A resource just for you: Resilient: Your Invitation to a Jesus-Shaped Life Bible study DVD and guide by Sheridan Voysey. Learn more about what […]

    Vicarious Intercession

    Beware of thinking that intercession means bringing our own personal sympathies and concerns into the presence of God, and then demanding that He do whatever we ask. Our ability to approach God is due entirely to the vicarious, or substitutionary, identification of our Lord with sin. We have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”

    Spiritual stubbornness is the most effective hindrance to intercession, because it is based on a sympathetic “understanding” of things we see in ourselves and others that we think needs no atonement.

    Envy and Humility

    The movie Amadeus depicts Antonio Salieri as a composer who couldn’t enjoy his gift because he happened to live at the same time as the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri worked diligently to create a decent musical work, only to watch the impish Mozart sit down at the piano and play soaring music, seemingly off the top of his head. Salieri begged God for Mozart’s gift, but he believed that God gave him just enough talent to recognize the many ways he didn’t measure up.

    After You

    In some cultures a younger person is expected to permit his elder to enter a room first. In others, the most important or highest ranking individual enters first. No matter what our traditions, there are times when we find it difficult to allow someone to choose first on important matters, especially when that privilege rightfully belongs to us.  

    Abram (later called Abraham) and his nephew Lot had so many flocks, herds, and tents that the land could not support both of them as they traveled together. To avoid conflict, Abram suggested they part company and generously gave Lot first choice of…

    Should We Give Help but Not Receive it?

    During dinner some days ago, my father lamented about how times have changed. It used to be that bosses care about their workers even outside of work.

    Becoming a safe place for others

    I’ll bet every one of us hid under the covers when we were kids. We were looking for a safe place, but today on Discover the Word, special guest Ann Voskamp shows us how can we become a safe place for others. Ann Voskamp joins the team at the table right here on Discover the Word!

    Painful Words

    My daughter and I were savoring a school musical performance we’d just witnessed while walking to our car. Our happiness came to a screeching halt, however, as we watched a man approach a waiting vehicle and denigrate the driver for failing to pull forward far enough into the student loading zone. The diatribe was brief, but painful, particularly because it took place in the context of Christian community.