A Treaties on an Underappreciated Virtue

Author: Andrew Murray

In this short (around 50 pages) booklet, Andrew Murray deep dives into the most overlooked (and least liked) Christlike attribute of humility. He first starts by defining humility – what it is, where it comes into play in our lives and our faiths, and why it is ultimately beautiful and freeing. Humility does not cancel out our personalities, it perfects them, bathes them in the glow of Christ, and helps us to become more of what we are, not less.

Next, Murray gives us some examples of how Jesus showed humility, how the apostles adopted it, and how and when they fell short. The application to our own lives is obvious, the benefits lovingly, if a bit obtusely, defined by Murray.

Finally, the book looks at the connections between faith and holiness, sin, the death to self (and what that really means), happiness, and finally exaltation (or worship.) It’s a beautiful treaty with a lot of uplifting material that expresses the true glory of humility and explains the pitfalls of misunderstanding (humility doesn’t mean you can no longer have a personality, that you must hate yourself, that you must degenerate yourself, etc.). Humility is a way towards freedom and towards accepting the true glory Jesus gave us through his death.

Image by Chil Vera from Pixabay

Humility: The Beauty of Holiness is not an easy read though, despite the solid approach to the subject matter and the shortness of the material. Murray’s writing can be obtuse at times and a bit repetitive. There is a lot of depth here, and it takes some time to tease out the full meaning. Part of it might be the formality of the narrative and the complexity of Murray’s thoughts (the man is obviously very advanced.) Readers need to slow down and rest with the text, not rocket through it chapter by chapter (as I was doing for an assignment). This is a book that I hope to read again, one that will provide continual insights and applications through multiple in-depth, meditative readings. It’s not a book for the faint of heart, but it is still a book for the beginner who is seeking truth and a way to become more Christ-like.

Also worthy of note – if you’re fine with the older text, you can read Murray’s work for free from Project Gutenburg here: The Project Gutenberg eBook of Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, by Andrew Murray.

– Frances Carden

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Frances Carden
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