Humility

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Always be humble and gentle
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).

The Bible tells us that God wants us to grow in humility. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who is now a Saint, saw the process of learning to become more humble as a set of specific, concrete measures we can practice every day.

Her advice is easy to understand, but much harder to follow. Over time, though, by embracing her approach and making it our own, we can gradually learn to respond to people and events with greater acceptance and humility.

I first posted these teachings as a series of daily quotations on Twitter and Facebook. When that project was complete, I decided to draw them together, and make them available here.

Each quotation is followed by an illustrative verse from the Bible or few words of clarification. I hope very much that you will find Mother Theresa’s clear, practical advice as helpful as I do.


1. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen
[and] slow to speak
(James 1:19; NLT).



2. Aspire to live quietly,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands
(1 Thessalonians 4:10; RSV).


3. You should mind your own business
(1 Thessalonians 4:11; NIV).



4. They have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things
(2 Timothy 4:3; NET).



5. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love
(Ephesians 4:2; NLT).


6. Whoever learns from correction is wise
(Proverbs 15:5; NLT).


7. How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck
from your brother’s eye
(Matthew 7:4-5; NIV).



8. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.
For you will be treated as you treat others.
The standard you use in judging
is the standard by which you will be judged
(Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).


9. He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word
(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


1o. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
yet he never said a word

(Isaiah 53:7; NLT).


11. The wisdom from above is first of all pure.
It is also peace-loving,
gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others
(James 3:17; NLT).

NB: This doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you. It means letting others choose, and gladly going along with their choice, rather than insisting on having your own way.



12. He was despised and we did not care
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).



13. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way
(Isaiah 53:3; NLT).


14. A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare

(Proverbs 15:1; NLT).



15. They brag loudly about themselves
(Jude 1:16; NLT).

Don’t do your good deeds publicly,
to be admired by others
(Matthew 6:1; NLT).


16. Whoever wants to be first among you
must be the slave of all
(Mark 10:44; NET).



17. Do not be wise in your own opinion
(Romans 12:16; NKJV).


18. Even the Son of Man came not to be served
but to serve others,
and to give his life as a ransom for many
(Matthew 20:28; NLT).


Reference

All the quotations used here can be found by doing a Google search for: “Mother Theresa humility list”. I am very grateful to Mother for putting her advice list together, and to all those who circulate various versions of it online.

Your will

Image: Tim Hüfner, Unsplash


❤️

I desire to do your will, my God (Psalm 40:8; NLT).

1. Father,
Please remove from me
All foolish pride and vanity;
All judging of my fellows, Lord:

Your will, my mind –
In full accord.

2. Father,
Please remove from me
All selfishness and jealousy;
All quarrelling, and hatred, Lord:

Your will, my heart –
In true accord.

3. Father,
Please remove from me
All arrogance and gluttony;
All callousness, and slander, Lord:

Your will, my soul –
In one accord.

❤️


References

1. I will not endure conceit and pride (Psalm 101:5; NLT).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37; NLT).

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5; NKJV).

2. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these (Galatians 5:19-21; NLT).

He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).

I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever (Jeremiah 32:39; NLT).

3. From within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you (Mark 7:21-22; NLT).

I hate pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13; NLT).

I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbours (Psalm 101:5; NLT).

He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17; NKJV).

Despised and rejected

“50 Luke 22 v60-61 – Peters Denial of Christ” by fz1844 is marked with CC PDM 1.0


🖤

He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned out backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care (Isaiah 53:3; NLT).

1. No one likes to be despised,
Unheard, or disregarded, Lord.

2. No one wants to be rejected,
Mocked, unwanted, or ignored.

3. No one likes to be condemned, Lord,
Judged, avoided, pushed away.

4. No one wants to be neglected,
Scorned, or shunned, day after day.

5. No one likes to be disowned, Lord,
Just as we denied your Son —

6. So, may we grow more like him,
And pour your love on everyone.

🖤


References

1. I am scorned and despised by all (Psalm 22:6; NLT).

2. He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law (Mark 8:31; NLT).

3. Our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death (Luke 24:20; NLT).

4. I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting (Isaiah 50:6; CSB).

5. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go (Acts 3:13; NIV).

Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You are one of those with Jesus the Galilean.” But Peter denied it in front of everyone (Matthew 26:69-70; NLT).

6. The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12:9; NLT).

Less and more

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Put on your new nature, and be renewed
as you learn to know your Creator and become like him
(Colossians 3:10; NLT).

1. Lord,
May I grow more like you,
By talking less,
And listening more.

2. Lord,
May I grow more like you,
By wanting less,
And serving more.

3. Lord,
May I grow more like you,
By taking less,
And giving more.

4. Lord,
May I grow more like you,
By judging less,
And loving more.

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes
(Ephesians 4:23; NLT).

 


References

1. Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NIV).

You must all be quick to listen [and] slow to speak (James 1:19; NLT).

2. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear (Luke 12:22; NIV).

Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others (Mark 10:45; NLT).

3. Turn from your selfish ways (Luke 9:23; NLT).

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35; NLT).

4. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37; NLT).

No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13; CSB).

May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).

Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

According to your will

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This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us
(1 John 5:14; NIV).

Lord,

1. May I treat myself with love
According to your will,
Sharing all I feel with you
As I face each new test.

2. May I capture all my thoughts
According to your will,
Changing judgements into love –
Then I’ll have done my best.

3. May I speak the truth in love
According to your will,
Choosing all my words with care,
Though sometimes I’ll be blamed.

4. May I do all things with love
According to your will,
Serving you with all my heart –
Then I won’t be ashamed.


References

1. Love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; NLT).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested (Hebrews 2:18; NLT).

2. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For […] the standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged (Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts (Ecclesiastes 7:23; NLT).

3. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason (Psalm 38:19; NLT).

4. Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

Serve the Lord with all your heart (1 Samuel 12:20; NIV).

Let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me (Psalm 25:2; NKJV).

Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in you (Psalm 25:20; NKJV).

Choice

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Don’t you realise that you become the slave
of whatever you choose to obey?
(Romans 6:16; NLT).

1. May I let go of vanity,
And choose to seek your face.
May I let go of judging, Lord,
And choose, instead, your grace.

2. May I let go of bitterness,
And chose to know your balm.
May I let go of anger, Lord,
And choose, instead, your calm.

3. May I let go of jealousy,
And choose to share your bliss.
May I let go of hatred, Lord,
And choose, instead, your kiss.

4. May I let go of selfishness,
And choose to love, each day.
May I let go of evil, Lord,
And choose, instead, your way.


References

1. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8; NIV).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37; NLT).

2. Don’t sin by letting anger control you (Ephesians 4:26; NLT).

3. Love your enemies! (Matthew 5:44; NLT).

4. Turn from your selfish ways (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15; NLT).

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NLT).

God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30; NLT).

Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).

Little prayers


This set of little prayers came to me whilst I was asleep. As I woke up, I could still hear the words being spoken aloud in my mind. Grabbing my ipad, I started writing them down immediately, as I knew from experience that they would disappear within seconds. Each prayer can be used at a specific moment, or said repeatedly in difficult situations.

1. When I wake to face each day:
Lord, I’m yours; you are my way.

2. When I hear your gentle voice:
Lord, I’m yours; you are my choice.

3. When I am about to eat:
Lord, I’m yours; this is a feast.

4. When I pray to you at night:
Lord, I’m yours; you are my light.

5. When I want to judge, and win:
Lord, I’m yours; forgive my sin.

6. When I suffer fear and pain:
Lord, I’m yours; I praise your name.

7. When I think I’m going to drown:
Lord, I’m yours; don’t let me down.

8. When I kneel before your cross:
Lord, I‘m yours, but I am dross.

9. When I see you, risen, scarred:
Lord, I’m yours, though life is hard.

10. When I share your bread and wine:
Lord, I’m yours, and you are mine.

References

1. I am the way (John 14:6; NLT).

2. I am yours (Psalm 119:94; NLT).

3. You prepare a feast for me (Psalm 23:5; NLT).

4. I am the light of the world (John 8:12; NLT).

5. He forgives all my sins (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

6. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; NIV).

7. Lord, save us! We’re going to drown (Matthew 8:25; NLT).

8. O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner (Luke 18:13; NLT).

9. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

10. My beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2:16; NIV).

We have the power

Lord,
We have the power
To establish peace on earth;
But we prefer to hurt and shun,
Forgetting your Son’s birth.

Lord,
We have the power
To abolish war and strife;
But we prefer to fight and win,
Forgetting your Son’s life.

Lord,
We have the power
To protect all who have breath;
But we prefer to dominate,
Forgetting your Son’s death.

Lord,
We have the power
To forgive, and make love reign;
But we prefer to hate,
Forgetting Christ will come again.

Lord,
We have the power
To let go of every grudge;
But we prefer to scorn,
Forgetting Christ will be our judge.

Lord,
We have the power
To perceive his time is near;
So why can’t we accept his call,
And build your kingdom here?

References

He will return from heaven (Acts 1:11; NLT).

The Son of Man will come […] and will judge all people according to their deeds (Matthew 16:27; NLT).

When you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door (Matthew 24:33; NLT).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

The Kingdom of God is already among you [or is within you; or is within your grasp] (Luke 17:21; NLT).