The Blessing of Humility: Walk within Your Calling by Jerry Bridges. NavPress. 144 pages. 2016
This is the final book written by Jerry Bridges, who died on March 6 at the age of 86. His books have meant a great deal to me over the years, from The Pursuit of Holiness to this final volume.
Bridges writes that the real value of this book (on the Beatitudes taught by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount), comes as you read each chapter reflectively and prayerfully. He suggests that we ask God to help us see ourselves as we really are in the light of each of the character traits covered in the eight Beatitudes. Then, ask God to help us grow in the areas where we see ourselves to be most needy. The character traits in the Beatitudes, which constitute the major portion of this book, are all expressions of what Bridges calls “humility in action.”
Bridges writes that the character trait of humility is the second-most frequently taught trait in the New Testament, second only to love, and that all other character traits, in one way or another, are built upon love and humility. He looks at the Beatitudes as expressions of Christian character that are a description of humility in action. He states that all Christians are meant to display these characteristics, and that a life of humility is not an option for a believer to choose or reject. It is a command of God. He tells us that if we want to apply the Bible’s teaching to our daily lives, we cannot ignore the call to live our ordinary lives in a spirit of humility.
In the eight short chapters of the book, Bridges looks at how humility expresses itself in the different circumstances and people we encounter as we live out our daily lives in a broken and sin-cursed world. The Beatitudes offer a portrait of humility in action, something which God commands and which God promises to bless. He states that it is impossible to truly walk in humility without to some degree appropriating the truth of the gospel every day, which he refers to as “preaching the gospel to ourselves every day”.
The book includes a helpful Discussion Guide, with questions developed by Bob Bevington. This would be a wonderful book to read and discuss with others in a book club setting.