| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |

 

Humility

 

HumilityThe story is told of two brothers who grew up on a farm. One went away to college, earned a law degree, and became a partner in a prominent law firm in the state capital. The other brother stayed on the family farm. One day the lawyer came and visited his brother, the farmer. He asked, “Why don’t you go out and make a name for yourself and hold you head up high in the world like me?” The brother pointed and said, “See that field of wheat over there? Look closely. Only the empty heads stand up. Those that are well filled always bow low.”

Said differently, “The branch that bears the most fruit is bent the lowest to the ground. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

Humility is like a slippery watermelon seed. Once you get it under your finger and you think you have it, it slips away from your grasp. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

”When a certain rhetorician was asked what was the chief rule of eloquence he replied. ‘Delivery.’ What was the second rule, ‘Delivery.’ What was the third rule, ‘Delivery.’ So if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, first, second, third, and always I would answer: ‘Humility.’”— Augustine

 

Humility

An ardent music lover unexpectedly met the great Johannes Brahms. On recognizing the composer the man asked: “Master, would you please write here a small portion of a masterpiece and sign it so I can have a precious memory of this fortunate encounter?”

Brahms took the pencil and paper, scribbled the initial bars of The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss and signed: “Unfortunately not by me, Johannes Brahms.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

There is an old ditty that goes: “It needs more skill than I can tell / To play the second fiddle well.”

In a similar vein, Leonard Bernstein was once asked which instrument was the most difficult to play. He thought for a moment and then replied, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm-that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

Dr. H. A. Ironside felt that he was not as humble as he thought he ought to be. Showing his concern, he asked an elder friend what he could do about it. His friend replied, “Make a sandwich board with the plan of salvation in Scripture on it and wear it, then walk through the business and shopping area of downtown Chicago for a whole day.”

Ironside followed his friend’s advice. Upon completion of this humiliating experience, he returned to his apartment. As he took off the sandwich board, he caught himself thinking, “There’s not another person in Chicago that would be willing to do a thing like that.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

A well-known incident in the life of Robert E. Lee occurred while that southern gentleman was riding on a train to Richmond. The general was seated at the rear, and all the other places were filled with officers and soldiers. An elderly woman, poorly dressed, entered the coach at one of the stations. Having no seat offered to her, she trudged down the aisle to the back of the car. Immediately, Lee stood up and gave her his place. One man after another then arose to give the general his seat. “No, gentlemen,” he said, “if there is none for this lady, there can be none for me!”

Being a Christian, General Lee knew that good manners and humility demand consideration for people in all walks of life, not merely for those of high social ranking like himself. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Humility

We have plenty of people nowadays who could not kill a mouse without publishing it in the Gospel Gazette. Samson killed a lion and said nothing about it: the Holy Spirit finds modesty so rare that He takes care to record it. Say much of what the Lord has done for you, but say little of what you have done for the Lord. Do not utter a self-glorifying sentence! – C. H. Spurgeon

 

Humility

Corrie ten Boom was once asked if it was difficult for her to remain humble. Her reply was simple. “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments on the road, and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?”

She continued, “If I can be the donkey on which Jesus Christ rides in His glory, I give him all the praise and all the honor.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Definition of Humility

Andrew Murray gave a near-perfect definition of humility:

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.

The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself, he simply does not think of himself at all.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Knowledge and Humility

”Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocketwatch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”— Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son

 

Test of Humility

”The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”— Phillips Brooks

 

Test of Humility

The Navigators are well known for their emphasis on having a servant attitude. A businessman once asked Lorne Sanny, president of the Navigators, how he could know when he had a servant attitude. The reply: “By how you act when you are treated like one.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

A life that is wrapped up in itself makes a very small package. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

Pride is like a beard. It just keeps growing. The solution? Shave it every day. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

A minister, a Boy Scout, and a computer expert were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and said that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot added, “I should have one of the parachutes because I have a wife and three small children.” So he took one and jumped.

The computer whiz said, “I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me.” So he took one and jumped.

The minister turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, “You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with plane.”

The boy Scout said, “Relax, Reverend, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

Many Christians are like the woodpecker who was pecking on the trunk of a dead tree. Suddenly lightning struck the tree and splintered it. The woodpecker flew away unharmed. Looking back to where the dead tree had stood, the proud bird exclaimed, “Look what I did!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

A conceited person is someone who does a crossword puzzle with a ballpoint pen. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

An article titled “The Art of being a big Shot” was written by a very prominent Christian businessman named Howard Butt. Among many other insightful things he said were these words:

“It is my pride that makes me independent of God. It’s appealing to me to feel that I am the master of my fate, that I run my own life, call my own shots, go it alone. But that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can’t go it alone. I have to get help from other people, and I can’t ultimately rely on myself. I’m dependent on God for my next breath. It is dishonest of me to pretend that I’m anything but a man-small, weak, and limited. So, living independent of God is self-delusion. It is not just a matter of pride being an unfortunate little trait and humility being an attractive little virtue; it’s my inner psychological integrity that’s at stake. When I am conceited, I am lying to myself about what I am. I am pretending to be God, and not man. My pride is the idolatrous worship of myself. And that is the national religion of Hell! (from an undocumented source.) ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

A rich man once invited many honored guests for a feast. His own chair, richly decorated, was placed at one end of the long table. While he was away, each guest seated himself according to his own esteem of his position in sight of the master. When time came and all were seated, the master moved his chair to the other end of the table! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

Many Christians have wrongly concluded that sexual sins are the worst kind of sin. But that is not true. Sexual sins are not the worst kind of sins. C.S. Lewis has caught this fact very accurately. In a paragraph from his book Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1986), Lewis says:

“If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and backbiting; the pleasures of power, of hated. For there are two things inside me competing with the human self which I must try to become; they are the animal self, and the diabolical self; and the diabolical self is the worst of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig, who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it’s better to be neither.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

According to Life magazine, Muhammed Ali spoke of himself before his 1971 fight with Joe Frazier thus:

“There seems to some confusion. We’re gonna clear this confusion up on March 8. We’re gonna decide once and for all who is king! There’s not a man alive who can whup me. (He jabs the air half a dozen blinding lefts.)

I’m too smart. (He taps his head.)

I’m too pretty. (He lifts his head high in profile, turning as a bust on a pedestal.)

I AM the greatest. I AM the king! I should be a postage stamp-that’s the only way I could get licked!”

P.S. Ali lost to Frazier!

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

When the nineteenth-century American evangelist Asahel Nettleton was asked what he considered the best safeguard against spiritual pride, he replied: “I know of nothing better than to keep my eye on my great sinfulness.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

In Charles Colson’s book Born Again, which details his experiences related to Watergate, Colson shares one of President Nixon’s problems-he could never admit he was wrong in anything. In fact, Colson says, even when Nixon obviously had a cold-nose running, face red, sneezing, all the symptoms-he would never admit it. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

When circus acrobat Philippe Petit was rehearsing in Bayfront Auditorium in St. Petersburg, Florida, he fell about thirty feet to a concrete floor. According to a witness, Petit rolled over on his stomach, began pounding the floor with his fists, and cried, “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! I don’t ever fall!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Pride

The story is told of a laborer who was a mature Christian and gave a solid testimony before all who knew him. His boss came to him one day and said, “You know, whatever you’ve got, I want. You have such peace and joy and contentment. How can I get this?”

The laborer said, “Go to your home, put on your best suit, come down here, and work in the mud with the rest of us-and you can have it.”

“What are you talking about? I could never do that. I’m the boss, you’re the worker. I can’t do that. That’s beneath my dignity.” The boss came back a couple of months later and said, “I ask you again, what is it that you have and how can I get it?”

“I told you, go put on your best suit, come down and work in the mud with us, and you can have it.” Again the boss became furious and walked off.

Finally, in desperation he came back to the laborer and said, “I don’t care what it takes! I’ll do anything.” The laborer said, “Will you put on your best suit and comedown and work in the mud?” The boss agreed that he would do even that. Then the laborer said, “You don’t have to.”

Do you see the point? The laborer knew what was standing between the boss and Christ-pride and self. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Spiritual Pride

There was a godly Christian woman who startled her friends by saying, “There isn’t a sin of which I am not capable. I could be a prostitute; I could murder, I could embezzle.”

Most of her friends were not impressed with her frankness. Instead they thought that she was displaying a false humility. Then she added, “You don’t really believe what I just said. I mean it-because I realize that any particular sin that crops up in someone else’s life expresses itself in me, but in different ways. Until I accept that, I am self-righteous, proud, and arrogant.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

ARROGANCE

In 1969, in Pass Christian, Mississippi, a group of people were preparing to have a "hurricane party" in the face of a storm named Camille. Were they ignorant of the dangers? Could they have been overconfident? Did they let their egos and pride influence their decision? We'll never know.

What we do know is that the wind was howling outside the posh Richelieu Apartments when Police Chief Jerry Peralta pulled up sometime after dark. Facing the Beach less than 250 feet from the surf, the apartments were directly in the line of danger. A man with a drink in his hand came out to the second-floor balcony and waved. Peralta yelled up, "You all need to clear out of here as quickly as you can. The storm's getting worse." But as others joined the man on the balcony, they just laughed at Peralta's order to leave. "This is my land," one of them yelled back. "If you want me off, you'll have to arrest me."

Peralta didn't arrest anyone, but he wasn't able to persuade them to leave either. He wrote down the names of the next of kin of the twenty or so people who gathered there to party through the storm. They laughed as he took their names. They had been warned, but they had no intention of leaving.

It was 10:15 p.m. when the front wall of the storm came ashore. Scientists clocked Camille's wind speed at more than 205 miles-per-hour, the strongest on record. Raindrops hit with the force of bullets, and waves off the Gulf Coast crested between twenty-two and twenty-eight feet high.

News reports later showed that the worst damage came at the little settlement of motels, go-go bars, and gambling houses known as Pass Christian, Mississippi, where some twenty people were killed at a hurricane party in the Richelieu Apartments. Nothing was left of that three-story structure but the foundation; the only survivor was a five-year-old boy found clinging to a mattress the following day. ── Christian Values Qs Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1994, p. 10.

 

Humility

        The story is told of two brothers who grew up on a farm. One went away to college, earned a law degree, and became a partner in a prominent law firm in the state capital. The other brother stayed on the family farm. One day the lawyer came and visited his brother, the farmer. He asked, “Why don’t you go out and make a name for yourself and hold you head up high in the world like me?” The brother pointed and said, “See that field of wheat over there? Look closely. Only the empty heads stand up. Those that are well filled always bow low.”

        Said differently, “The branch that bears the most fruit is bent the lowest to the ground.

 

Humility

        Humility is like a slippery watermelon seed. Once you get it under your finger and you think you have it, it slips away from your grasp.

 

Humility

        ”When a certain rhetorician was asked what was the chief rule of eloquence he replied. ‘Delivery.’ What was the second rule, ‘Delivery.’ What was the third rule, ‘Delivery.’ So if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, first, second, third, and always I would answer: ‘Humility.’”—Augustine

 

Humility

        An ardent music lover unexpectedly met the great Johannes Brahms. On recognizing the composer the man asked: “Master, would you please write here a small portion of a masterpiece and sign it so I can have a precious memory of this fortunate encounter?”

        Brahms took the pencil and paper, scribbled the initial bars of The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss and signed: “Unfortunately not by me, Johannes Brahms.”

 

Humility

        There is an old ditty that goes: “It needs more skill than I can tell / To play the second fiddle well.”

        In a similar vein, Leonard Bernstein was once asked which instrument was the most difficult to play. He thought for a moment and then replied, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm-that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”

 

Humility

       Dr. H. A. Ironside felt that he was not as humble as he thought he ought to be. Showing his concern, he asked an elder friend what he could do about it. His friend replied, “Make a sandwich board with the plan of salvation in Scripture on it and wear it, then walk through the business and shopping area of downtown Chicago for a whole day.”

        Ironside followed his friend’s advice. Upon completion of this humiliating experience, he returned to his apartment. As he took off the sandwich board, he caught himself thinking, “There’s not another person in Chicago that would be willing to do a thing like that.”

 

Humility

        A well-known incident in the life of Robert E. Lee occurred while that southern gentleman was riding on a train to Richmond. The general was seated at the rear, and all the other places were filled with officers and soldiers. An elderly woman, poorly dressed, entered the coach at one of the stations. Having no seat offered to her, she trudged down the aisle to the back of the car. Immediately, Lee stood up and gave her his place. One man after another then arose to give the general his seat. “No, gentlemen,” he said, “if there is none for this lady, there can be none for me!”

        Being a Christian, General Lee knew that good manners and humility demand consideration for people in all walks of life, not merely for those of high social ranking like himself.

 

Humility

        We have plenty of people nowadays who could not kill a mouse without publishing it in the Gospel Gazette. Samson killed a lion and said nothing about it: the Holy Spirit finds modesty so rare that He takes care to record it. Say much of what the Lord has done for you, but say little of what you have done for the Lord. Do not utter a self-glorifying sentence! –C. H. Spurgeon

 

Humility

        Corrie ten Boom was once asked if it was difficult for her to remain humble. Her reply was simple. “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments on the road, and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?”

        She continued, “If I can be the donkey on which Jesus Christ rides in His glory, I give him all the praise and all the honor.”

 

Definition of Humility

        Andrew Murray gave a near-perfect definition of humility:

       “Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.

        The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself, he simply does not think of himself at all.”

 

Knowledge and Humility

        ”Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocketwatch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”—Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son

 

Test of Humility

        ”The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”—Phillips Brooks

 

Test of Humility

        The Navigators are well known for their emphasis on having a servant attitude. A businessman once asked Lorne Sanny, president of the Navigators, how he could know when he had a servant attitude. The reply: “By how you act when you are treated like one.”

 

Pride

        A life that is wrapped up in itself makes a very small package.

 

Pride

        Pride is like a beard. It just keeps growing. The solution? Shave it every day.

 

Pride

        A minister, a Boy Scout, and a computer expert were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and said that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot added, “I should have one of the parachutes because I have a wife and three small children.” So he took one and jumped.

        The computer whiz said, “I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me.” So he took one and jumped.

        The minister turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, “You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with plane.”

        The boy Scout said, “Relax, Reverend, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out!”

 

Pride

        Many Christians are like the woodpecker who was pecking on the trunk of a dead tree. Suddenly lightning struck the tree and splintered it. The woodpecker flew away unharmed. Looking back to where the dead tree had stood, the proud bird exclaimed, “Look what I did!”

 

Pride

        Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it.

 

Pride

        A conceited person is someone who does a crossword puzzle with a ballpoint pen.

 

Pride

        An article titled “The Art of being a big Shot” was written by a very prominent Christian businessman named Howard Butt. Among many other insightful things he said were these words:

        “It is my pride that makes me independent of God. It’s appealing to me to feel that I am the master of my fate, that I run my own life, call my own shots, go it alone. But that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can’t go it alone. I have to get help from other people, and I can’t ultimately rely on myself. I’m dependent on God for my next breath. It is dishonest of me to pretend that I’m anything but a man-small, weak, and limited. So, living independent of God is self-delusion. It is not just a matter of pride being an unfortunate little trait and humility being an attractive little virtue; it’s my inner psychological integrity that’s at stake. When I am conceited, I am lying to myself about what I am. I am pretending to be God, and not man. My pride is the idolatrous worship of myself. And that is the national religion of Hell! (from an undocumented source.)

 

Pride

        Albert Einstein once said, regarding pride of accomplishment: “The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working. One is tempted to stop and listen to it. The only thing is to turn away and go on working. Work. There is nothing else.”

 

Pride

        A rich man once invited many honored guests for a feast. His own chair, richly decorated, was placed at one end of the long table. While he was away, each guest seated himself according to his own esteem of his position in sight of the master. When time came and all were seated, the master moved his chair to the other end of the table!

 

Pride

        Many Christians have wrongly concluded that sexual sins are the worst kind of sin. But that is not true. Sexual sins are not the worst kind of sins. C.S. Lewis has caught this fact very accurately. In a paragraph from his book Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1986), Lewis says:

        “If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and backbiting; the pleasures of power, of hated. For there are two things inside me competing with the human self which I must try to become; they are the animal self, and the diabolical self; and the diabolical self is the worst of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig, who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it’s better to be neither.”

 

Pride

        According to Life magazine, Muhammed Ali spoke of himself before his 1971 fight with Joe Frazier thus:

        “There seems to some confusion. We’re gonna clear this confusion up on March 8. We’re gonna decide once and for all who is king! There’s not a man alive who can whup me. (He jabs the air half a dozen blinding lefts.)

        I’m too smart. (He taps his head.)

        I’m too pretty. (He lifts his head high in profile, turning as a bust on a pedestal.)

        I AM the greatest. I AM the king! I should be a postage stamp-that’s the only way I could get licked!”

        P.S. Ali lost to Frazier!

 

Pride

        When the nineteenth-century American evangelist Asahel Nettleton was asked what he considered the best safeguard against spiritual pride, he replied: “I know of nothing better than to keep my eye on my great sinfulness.”

 

Pride

        In Charles Colson’s book Born Again, which details his experiences related to Watergate, Colson shares one of President Nixon’s problems-he could never admit he was wrong in anything. In fact, Colson says, even when Nixon obviously had a cold-nose running, face red, sneezing, all the symptoms-he would never admit it.

 

Pride

        When circus acrobat Philippe Petit was rehearsing in Bayfront Auditorium in St. Petersburg, Florida, he fell about thirty feet to a concrete floor. According to a witness, Petit rolled over on his stomach, began pounding the floor with his fists, and cried, “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! I don’t ever fall!”

 

PrideThe story is told of a laborer who was a mature Christian and gave a solid testimony before all who knew him. His boss came to him one day and said, “You know, whatever you’ve got, I want. You have such peace and joy and contentment. How can I get this?”

        The laborer said, “Go to your home, put on your best suit, come down here, and work in the mud with the rest of us-and you can have it.”

        “What are you talking about? I could never do that. I’m the boss, you’re the worker. I can’t do that. That’s beneath my dignity.” The boss came back a couple of months later and said, “I ask you again, what is it that you have and how can I get it?”

        “I told you, go put on your best suit, come down and work in the mud with us, and you can have it.” Again the boss became furious and walked off.

        Finally, in desperation he came back to the laborer and said, “I don’t care what it takes! I’ll do anything.” The laborer said, “Will you put on your best suit and comedown and work in the mud?” The boss agreed that he would do even that. Then the laborer said, “You don’t have to.”

        Do you see the point? The laborer knew what was standing between the boss and Christ-pride and self.

 

Spiritual Pride

        There was a godly Christian woman who startled her friends by saying, “There isn’t a sin of which I am not capable. I could be a prostitute; I could murder, I could embezzle.”

        Most of her friends were not impressed with her frankness. Instead they thought that she was displaying a false humility. Then she added, “You don’t really believe what I just said. I mean it-because I realize that any particular sin that crops up in someone else’s life expresses itself in me, but in different ways. Until I accept that, I am self-righteous, proud, and arrogant.”

 

Pride

Albert Einstein once said, regarding pride of accomplishment: “The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working. One is tempted to stop and listen to it. The only thing is to turn away and go on working. Work. There is nothing else.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

HUMILITY
(see also PRIDE)

A truly humble man is hard to find, yet God delights to honor such selfless people. Booker T. Washington, the renowned black educator, was an outstanding example of this truth. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town when he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble chore she had requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. A little girl recognized him and later revealed his identity to the lady. 

The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and apologized profusely. "It's perfectly all right, Madam," he replied. "Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it's always a delight to do something for a friend." She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his meek and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart. Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.

Our Daily Bread.


Wakefield tells the story of the famous inventor Samuel Morse who was once asked if he ever encountered situations where he didn't know what to do. Morse responded, "More than once, and whenever I could not see my way clearly, I knelt down and prayed to God for light and understanding."

Morse received many honors from his invention of the telegraph but felt undeserving: "I have made a valuable application of electricity not because I was superior to other men but solely because God, who meant it for mankind, must reveal it to someone and He was pleased to reveal it to me."

Tim Hansel, Eating Problems for Breakfast, Word Publishing, 1988, pp. 33-34.


It was John Riskin who said, "I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a ... feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them." Andrew Murray said, "The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praose God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised while he is forgotten because ... he has received the spirit of Jesus, who pleased not Himself, and who sought not His own honor. Therefore, in putting on the Lord Jesus Christ he has put on the heart of compassion, kindness, meekness, longsuffering, and humility." M.R. De Haan used to say, "Humility is something we should constantly pray for, yet never thank God that we have."

Henry Augustus Rowland, professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?"

The normally modest and retiring professor replied quietly, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion." Later a friend well acquainted with Rowland's disposition expressed surprise at the professor's uncharacteristic answer. Rowland answered, "Well, what did you expect me to do? I was under oath."

Today in the Word, August 5, 1993.


I am the least of the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:9

I am the very least of all the saints. Ephesians 3:8

I am the foremost of sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15

Humility and a passion for praise are a pair of characteristics which together indicate growth in grace. The Bible is full of self-humbling (man bowing down before God) and doxology (man giving praise to God). The healthy heart is one that bows down in humility and rises in praise and adoration. The Psalms strike both these notes again and again. So too, Paul in his letters both articulates humility and breaks into doxology. Look at his three descriptions of himself quoted above, dating respectively from around A.D. 59, 63, and 64. As the years pass he goes lower; he grows downward! And as his self-esteem sinks, so his rapture of praise and adoration for the God who so wonderfully saved him rises.

Undoubtedly, learning to praise God at all times for all that is good is a mark that we are growing in grace. One of my predecessors in my first parochial appointment died exceedingly painfully of cancer. But between fearful bouts of agony, in which he had to stuff his mouth with bedclothes to avoid biting his tongue, he would say aloud over and over again: "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1). That was a passion for praise asserting itself in the most poignant extremity imaginable.

Cultivate humility and a passion for praise if you want to grow in grace. 

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.


Although George Whitefield disagreed with John Wesley on some theological matters, he was careful not to create problems in public that could be used to hinder the preaching of the gospel. When someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see Wesley in heaven, Whitefield replied, "I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him." 

W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers,  Moody Press, 1984, p. 255.


American poet and Pulitzer Prize-winner Edwin Arlington Robinson used to spend his summers at the MacDowell Colony near Peterborough, New Hampshire. Arriving at breakfast one morning, he found the writer Nancy Byrd Turner and a new member of the colony already seated at his table. "This is Mr. Robinson," said Turner to her companion.

"Robinson! Not E.A. Robinson -- not the Mr. Robinson?" gushed the other woman.

There followed a long, uncomfortable pause, then Robinson replied, "A Mr. Robinson." 

Today in the Word, December 21, 1992.


"Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. I means freedom from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all." William Temple, "Christ in His Church"

At a reception honoring musician Sir Robert Mayer on his 100th birthday, elderly British socialite Lady Diana Cooper fell into conversation with a friendly woman who seemed to know her well. Lady Diana's failing eyesight prevented her from recognizing her fellow guest, until she peered more closely at the magnificent diamonds and realized she was talking to Queen Elizabeth! Overcome with embarrassment, Lady Diana curtsied and stammered, "Ma'am, oh, ma'am, I'm sorry ma'am. I didn't recognize you without your crown!"

"It was so much Sir Robert's evening," the queen replied, "that I decided to leave it behind." 

Today in the Word, April 3, 1992.


On a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, a young American student became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works. She asked the museum guard if she could play a few bars on it; she accompanied the request with a lavish tip, and the guard agreed. The girl went to the piano and tinkled out the opening of the Moonlight Sonata. As she was leaving she said to the guard, "I suppose all the great pianist who come here want to play on that piano."

The guard shook his head. "Padarewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago and he said he wasn't worthy to touch it."

Source Unknown.


Hudson Taylor was scheduled to speak at a Large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as "our illustrious guest." Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying, "Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master." 

W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p. 243.


The concert impresario, Sol Hurok, liked to say that Marian Anderson hadn't simply grown great, she'd grown great simply. He says: "A few years ago a reporter interviewed Marian and asked her to name the greatest moment in her life. I was in her dressing room at the time and was curious to hear the answer. I knew she had many big moments to choose from. There was the night Toscanini told her that hers was the finest voice of the century. There was the private concert she gave at the White House for the Roosevelts and the King and Queen of England. She had received the $10,000 Bok Award as the person who had done the most for her home town, Philadelphia. To top it all, there was that Easter Sunday in Washington when she stood beneath the Lincoln statue and sang for a crowd of 75,000, which included Cabinet members, Supreme Court Justices, and most members of Congress. Which of those big moments did she choose? "None of them," said Hurok. "Miss Anderson told the reporter that the greatest moment of her life was the day she went home and told her mother she wouldn't have to take in washing anymore." 

Alan Loy McGinnis in The Friendship Factor, p. 30.


In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn't a technology problem like radar malfunction--or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship's presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late. 

Closer Walk, December, 1991.


The door of life is a door of mystery. It becomes slightly shorter than the one who wishes to enter it. And thus only he who bows in humility can cross its threshold.

The Handbook of Magazine Article Writing contains this illustration by Philip Barry Osborne; "Alex Haley, the author of Roots, has a picture in his office, showing a turtle sitting atop a fence. The picture is there to remind him of a lesson he learned long ago: 'If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help.'

"Says Alex, 'Any time I start thinking, WOW, ISN'T THIS MARVELOUS WHAT I'VE DONE! I look at that picture and remember how this turtle--me--got up on that post.'"

Sandy Reynolds.


Lincoln once got caught up in a situation where he wanted to please a politician, so he issued a command to transfer certain regiments. When the secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, received the order, he refused to carry it out. He said that the President was a fool. Lincoln was told what Stanton had said, and he replied, "If Stanton said I'm a fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I'll see for myself." As the two men talked, the President quickly realized that his decision was a serious mistake, and without hesitation he withdrew it.

Source Unknown.


Be humble or you'll stumble. 

D.L. Moody.


Never be haughty to the humble. Never be humble to the haughty. 

Jefferson Davis.


Did you hear about the minister who said he had a wonderful sermon on humility but was waiting for a large crowd before preaching it?

Many years ago, Christian professor Stuart Blackie of the University of Edinburgh was listening to his students as they presented oral readings. When one young man rose to begin his recitation, he held his book in the wrong hand. The professor thundered, "Take your book in your right hand, and be seated!" At this harsh rebuke, the student held up his right arm. He didn't have a right hand! The other students shifted uneasily in their chairs. For a moment the professor hesitated. Then he made his way to the student, put his arm around him, and with tears streaming from his eyes, said, "I never knew about it. Please, will you forgive me?" His humble apology made a lasting impact on that young man. This story was told some time later in a large gathering of believers. At the close of the meeting a man came forward, turned to the crowd, and raised his right arm. It ended at the wrist. He said, "I was that student. Professor Blackie led me to Christ. But he never could have done it if he had not made the wrong right."

Source Unknown.


For many years Sir Walter Scott was the leading literary figure in the British Empire. No one could write as well as he. Then the works of Lord Byron began to appear, and their greatness was immediately evident. Soon an anonymous critic praised his poems in a London paper. He declared that in the presence of these brilliant works of poetic genius, Scott could no longer be considered the leading poet of England. It was later discovered that the unnamed reviewer had been none other than Sir Walter Scott himself!

Source Unknown.


"They that know God will be humble," John Flavel has said, ' and they that know themselves cannot be proud." 

quoted in MBI's Today In The Word, November, 1989, p.20.


Walter Cronkite recalls the following incident: Sailing back down the Mystic River in Connecticut and following the channel's tricky turns through an expanse of shallow water, I am reminded of the time a boatload of young people sped past us here, its occupants shouting and waving their arms. I waved back a cheery greeting and my wife said, "Do you know what they were shouting?" "Why, it was 'Hello, Walter,'" I replied. "No," she said. "They were shouting, "Low water, Low water.'" Such are the pitfalls of fame's egotism. 

Ray Ellis and Walter Cronkite, North by Northeast.


George Washington Carver, the scientist who developed hundreds of useful products from the peanut: "When I was young, I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, 'That knowledge is reserved for me alone.' So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well, George, that's more nearly your size.' And he told me." 

Adapted from Rackham Holt, George Washington Carver.


It had been a long day on Capitol Hill for Senator John Stennis. He was looking forward to a bit of relaxation when he got home. After parking the car, he began to walk toward his front door. Then it happened. Two people came out of the darkness, robbed him, and shot him twice. News of the shooting of Senator Stennis, the chairman of the powerful Armed Forces Committee, shocked Washington and the nation. For nearly seven hours, Senator Stennis was on the operating table at Walter Reed Hospital. Less than two hours later, another politician was driving home when he heard about the shooting. He turned his car around and drove directly to the hospital.

 In the hospital, he noticed that the staff was swamped and could not keep up with the incoming calls about the Senator's condition. He spotted an unattended switchboard, sat down, and voluntarily went to work. He continued taking calls until daylight. Sometime during that next day, he stood up, stretched, put on his overcoat, and just before leaving, he introduced himself quietly to the other operator, "I'm Mark Hatfield. Happy to help out." Then Senator Mark Hatfield unobtrusively walked out. The press could hardly handle that story. There seemed to be no way for a conservative Republican to give a liberal Democrat a tip of the hat, let alone spend hours doing a menial task and be "happy to help out." 

Knofel Stanton, Heaven Bound Living, Standard, 1989, p. 35.


When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn't it do harm, your getting so much honor?" The Sadhu's answer was: "No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job." 

Corrie Ten Boom, Each New Day.


Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ's redemptive work on Calvary's cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit. 

Andrew Murray.


Dr. Harry Ironside was once convicted about his lack of humility. A friend recommended as a remedy, that he march through the streets of Chicago wearing a sandwich board, shouting the scripture verses on the board for all to hear. Dr. Ironside agreed to this venture and when he returned to his study and removed the board, he said "I'll bet there's not another man in town who would do that." 

Donald Campbell, Daniel, Decoder of Dreams,  p. 22.


Winston Churchill was once asked, "Doesn't it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?" "It's quite flattering," replied Sir Winston. "But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big." 

Norman McGowan, My Years With Winston Churchill, Souvenir Press, London.


William Barclay tells the story of Paedaretos who lived in Sparta in ancient Greece. A group of 300 men were to be chosen to govern Sparta. Though Paedaretos was a candidate, his name was not on the final list. Some of his friends sought to console him, but he simply replied, "I am glad that in Sparta there are 300 men better than I am." He became a legend because of his willingness to stand aside while others took the places of glory and honor.

Source Unknown.


Phillip Brooks made an apt comment when he said, "The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is." 

quoted in Burning out for God, E. Skoglund, p. 11.


Sportscaster and former baseball great Ralph Kiner tells the following story: After the season in which I hit 37 home runs, I asked Pittsburgh Pirate general manager Branch Rickey for a raise. He refused. "I led the league in homers," I reminded him. "Where did we finish?" Rickey asked me. "Last," I replied.
"Well," Rickey said, "We can finish last without you."

Source Unknown.


William Beebe, the naturalist, used to tell this story about Teddy Roosevelt. At Sagamore Hill, after an evening of talk, the two would go out on the lawn and search the skies for a certain spot of star-like light near the lower left-hand corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Then Roosevelt would recite: "That is
the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun." 

Then Roosevelt would grin and say, "Now I think we are small enough! Let's go to bed."

Source Unknown.

HUMOR
Illustrations related to Humor

Below you will find classic humor--not a long list useless jokes.


Average number of laughs a person has in a day: 17

Charis Conn, Editor, What Counts: The Complete Harper's Index.


The following was submitted for amusement by a person who wishes to remain anonymous.

Montana Daughter to Carolina Mother--

Dear Mother:

"I'm writing this slow 'cause I know you can't read fast. We don't live where we did when you left. My hubby read in the paper where the most accidents happened within twenty miles of home, so we moved. I won't know the address for awhile yet as the last Montana family that lived here took the numbers with them for their next house so they won't have to change their address.

This place we're rentin' has a washin' machine. The first day I put four new shirts in it, pulled the chain, and I haven't seen 'em since. It only rained twice this week: three days the first time and four days the second time.

The coat you wanted me to send that you forgot here was too heavy to send in the mail. So we cut off the big buttons and put them in the pockets.

We got a bill from the funeral home, said if we didn't make the last payment on Aunty's funeral bill, up she comes.

I heard that Sis had a baby this morning but I haven't been over there yet to find out if it's a boy or a girl so I don't know if I'm and Aunt of an Uncle.

Our neighbor up the road fell in the whisky vat. Some men tried to pull him out, but he fought them off playfully, so he drowned. We cremated him and he burned for three days.

Three local kids from DeBorgia went off the bridge in a pick-up truck. The one that was driving rolled down the window and swam out. The two sitting in the back drowned. They couldn't get the tailgate down.

Not much to tell this time. Nothin' much happens 'round here.

Love, Your Daughter

Source Unknown.


Spurgeon was a character. His style was so loose he was criticized again and again for bordering on frivolity in the Tabernacle pulpit. Certain incensed fellow clergymen railed against his habit of introducing humor into his sermons. With a twinkle in his eye, he once replied: "If only you knew how much I hold back, you would commend me...This preacher thinks it less a crime to cause a momentary laughter than a half-hour of profound slumber." 

C. Swindoll, Growing Strong, p. 101. 


How to cultivate a sense of humor:

1. Catch yourself in some amusing inconsistency and then laugh at yourself. This is the foundation of a healthy sense of humor.

2. Note the inappropriate or funny things people say or do in public, and draw parallels between those silly behaviors and your own. Positive humor goes beyond mere criticism to a recognition of our common plight as less-than-perfect human beings.

3. Include in yor regular reading diet published collections of wit and humor, humor columnists, comic strips, and stories by writers with a well-developed sense of humor.

4. Occasionally do something harmlessly absurd and totally out of character for your spontaneous entertainment.

5. Avoid sarcasm, ridicule, and excessive teasing. They hurt rather than heal.

Source Unknown.


Classic Humor

Actress Carol Burnett got out of a cab one day and caught her coat in the door. The driver was unaware of her plight and slowly began to edge out into traffic. To keep from being pulled off her feet, the comedienne had to run alongside down the block. A passerby noted her predicament and quickly alerted the driver. He stopped, jumped out, and released Miss Burnett's coat. "Are you all right?" he asked anxiously. "Yes," she gasped, "but how much more do I owe you?" 

Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 6.


Alexander Woollcott: In matters of speech, it's not elegance that interest me but exactness. Precision. Surgical precision. Let me give an illustration--in the pattern of the old story about Noah Webster, the man who wrote the dictionary. Of him it used to be told that his wife once caught him in the pantry in the act of kissing the cook. "Why, Mr. Webster," she said, "I'm surprised." "No, my dear," he replied. "I'm surprised' you're amazed."  

Howard Teichmann, Smart Aleck.

 

PRIDE
(see also HUMILITY)

Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about overconfidence:

It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, Congratulations." I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don't forget a mistake like that; you just learnfrom it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven't in the 30 years since.

Carol Mann, The 19th Hold,  Longmeadow.


During the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War, Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. At one point he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and perhaps he ought to duck while passing the parapet. "Nonsense," snapped the general. "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--." A moment later Sedgwick fell to the ground, fatally wounded.

Today in the Word, August 30, 1993.


God pickles the proud and preserves the foolish.

Source Unknown.


Did you hear about the clever salesman who closed hundreds of sales with this line: "Let me show you something several of your neighbors said you couldn't afford."

Source Unknown.


George Gordon Liddy, Watergate conspirator recently released from prison: "I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a man of great faith, but my faith is in George Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me." 

The Christian Century, Sept. 28, 1977, p. 836.


Former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. "I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under by arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. I put my suitcases down, and I looked up at the Tower and I said to myself, 'I'm going to conquer Chicago.' "When I looked down, the suitcases were gone." 

Today in the Word, September 10, 1992.


Ronald Reagan, recalling an occasion when he was governor of California and made a speech in Mexico City: "After I had finished speaking, I sat down to rather unenthusiastic applause, and I was a little embarrassed. The speaker who followed me spoke in Spanish -- which I didn't understand -- and he was being applauded about every paragraph. To hide my embarrassment, I started clapping before everyone else and longer than anyone else until our ambassador leaned over and said, 'I wouldn't do that if I were you. He's interpreting your speech.'" 

Quoted by Gerald Gardner in All the Presidents' Wits (Morrow), in Reader's Digest.


In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn't a technology problem like radar malfunction--or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship's presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late. 

Closer Walk, December, 1991.


Pride is the dandelion of the soul. Its root goes deep; only a little left behind sprouts again. Its seeds lodge in the tiniest encouraging cracks. And it flourishes in good soil: The danger of pride is that it feeds on goodness. 

David Rhodes.


We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. 

A. Lincoln, Proclamation of a day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, 1863.


God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily. 

Guideposts.


There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. 

Benjamin Franklin, from his autobiography.


A U.S. Air Force transport plane with its captain and 5 crew members was flying over Alaska in the mid-50s when they entered an unusually fierce snowstorm. The navigator contacted an air base only to be told that he had veered several hundred miles off course. Correct coordinates were given to the navigator, who continued to insist that his own calculations could not be that far off. Soon the plane ran low on fuel. The six men decided to abandon the plane and parachute to safety, but because of the -70 degree Farenheit temperature and winds that gusted to 50 mph, they were all frozen within minutes of hitting the ground. A friend of mine was part of the rescue team that discovered and retrieved the bodies 3 days later. As a result of the navigator's pride, 5 other people went to their deaths. Proverbs 12:15 tells us that "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise." The results may not always be so dramatic, but we must all be careful to seek the counsel of God and wise individuals before making decisions of lasting significance. 

Dave McPherson, Maranatha Bible Church, New Orleans.


Pali, this bull has killed me." So said Jose Cubero, one of Spain's most brilliant matadors, before he lost consciousness and died.

Only 21 years old, he had been enjoying a spectacular career. However, in this l958 bullfight, Jose made a tragic mistake. He thrust his sword a final time into a bleeding, delirious bull, which then collapsed. Considering the struggle finished, Jose turned to the crowd to acknowledge the applause. The bull, however, was not dead. It rose and lunged at the unsuspecting matador, its horn piercing his back and puncturing his heart.

Just when we think we've finished off pride, just when we turn to accept the congratulations of the crowd, pride stabs us in the back. We should never consider pride dead before we are. 

Craig Brian Larson.


Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it.

Source Unknown.


A young woman asked for an appointment with her pastor to talk with him about a besetting sin about which she was worried. When she saw him, she said, "Pastor, I have become aware of a sin in my life which I cannot control. Every time I am at church I begin to look around at the other women, and I realize that I am the prettiest one in the whole congregation. None of the others can compare with my beauty. What can I do about this sin?" 

The pastor replied, "Mary, that's not a sin, why that's just a mistake!"

Source Unknown.


A recent news release told of a Charlotte, North Carolina, woman who set a world record while playing a convenience store video game. After standing in front of the game for fourteen hours and scoring an unprecedented seven and a half million points on the game called "Tapper," the woman was pleased to see a TV crew arriving to record her efforts for posterity. She continued to play while the crew, alerted by her fianc? prepared to shoot. However, she was appalled to see the video screen suddenly go blank. While setting up their lights, the camera team had accidentally unplugged the game, thus bringing her bid for ten million points to an untimely end! The effort to publicize her achievement became the agent of her ultimate failure.  

Source Unknown.


"Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace." 

C. H. Spurgeon.


Anyone who travels to Edinburgh, Scotland will find Edinburgh castle a tower of seemingly insurmountable strength. But the truth is that the castle was once actually captured. The fortress had an obvious weak spot which defenders guarded--but because another spot was apparently protected by its steepness and impregnability, no sentries were posted there. At an opportune time, an attacking army sent a small band up that unguarded slope and surprised the garrison into surrender. Where the castle was strong, there it was weak. 

Today in the Word, Feb 89, p. 36.


The story is told of two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond. The best of friends, the three would amuse themselves and play together in their waterhole. When the hot summer days came, however, the pond began to dry up, and soon it was evident they would have to move. This was no problem for the ducks, who could easily fly to another pond. But the frog was stuck. So it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck that the frog could hang onto with his mouth as they flew to another pond. The plan worked well--so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and mused, "Well, isn't that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?" The frog said, "I did..." 

 

Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 34.

 

YIELD

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn't a technology problem like radar malfunction--or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship's presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late. 

Closer Walk, December 1991.