Friday, May 27, 2016

The Blessing of Humility, by Jerry Bridges

Few writers have had the impact on contemporary Christianity that Jerry Bridges had.  I first encountered Bridges in college, when I read The Pursuit of Holiness.  Through that book and dozens of others, plus his work with the Navigators, he touched millions of lives.  He died in March, and NavPress has posthumously published Bridges's last book, The Blessing of Humility: Walk Within Your Calling.

Bridges reads the Beatitudes through the lens of humility, which "is the second-most frequently taught trait in the New Testament, second only to love."  I had never thought of the Beatitudes as a teaching on humility, but Bridges makes a convincing case.  He writes,
Only those who are poor in spirit and who mourn over sin will hunger and thirst after the righteousness we have in Christ.  And only those who are poor in spirit will recognize how far short they come in attaining experimental righteousness.  The awareness of our absolute dependence on the righteousness of Christ and of our failure to attain more experiential righteousness will produce humility in us.
One of the most powerful sections was the chapter on mourning.  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. . . ." What are the blessed mourning?  Mourning over our sin.  When we mourn over our sin, we acknowledge our need for Jesus and his forgiveness.  That is one part of the humility we ought to have as Christians.  As we grow in Christ, we become increasingly aware of our need for him.

Bridges will be missed.  But he has left a tremendous legacy in his writings, not least this newest title.  The Blessing of Humility is a short book that packs a powerful punch.  Christian readers from any generation will be blessed by Bridges's work.

Thanks to the Tyndale Blog Network for the complimentary review copy!

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