Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2; NLT).
I want to do
Your perfect will,
No matter what you send,
To praise you still;
To love, forgive, and serve;
Grow like your Son,
And follow him to you: Thy will be done.
O my Father,
if this cup may not pass away from me,
except I drink it, thy will be done
(Matthew 26:42; KJV).
1. Please forgive my ignorance,
And teach me, Lord, to follow you.
2. Please forgive my weaknesses;
Help me to serve in all I do.
3. Please forgive my selfishness,
Then I’ll see you in everyone.
4. Please forgive my carelessness,
So I will grow like you, God’s Son.
5. Please forgive my foolishness:
May I reflect your wise concern;
6. And please forgive my sinfulness:
Don’t punish me, but help me learn.
1. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them (Ephesians 4:18; NIV).
Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path (Psalm 27:11; NLT).
2. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do (Hebrews 4:15; NLT).
3. Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd, “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).
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40; NIV).
4. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).
5. People ruin their lives by their own foolishness (Proverbs 19:3; NLT).
All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).
God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them (Exodus 2:25; NIV).
6. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:8-10; NIV).
My life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my guilt, and my body has wasted away (Psalm 31:10; NASB20).
1. I’m sorry that I’m nothing, Lord.
I’m sorry I’m so weak.
2. I’m sorry I can’t serve you, Lord,
And sorry I’m so bleak.
3. I’m sorry I’ve got nothing, Lord,
To show for all my years.
4. I’m sorry that I’ve wasted all my life
On sin, and tears.
5. I can only cling to you, Lord,
As I face each test.
6. I can only try to pray, Lord,
And to do my best.
7. I can only cry to you, Lord: Father, lift me up!
8. I can only trust in you,
And drink each bitter cup.
1. I am nothing but dust and ashes (Genesis 18:27; NIV).
Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak (Psalm 6:2; NLT).
2. You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him (Luke 4:8; NLT).
You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).
3. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth (Matthew 25:25; NLT).
Is not all human life a struggle? Our lives are like that of a hired hand, like a worker who longs for the shade, like a servant waiting to be paid. I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery (Job 7:1-3; NASB20).
4. I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me (Psalm 51:5; NLT).
You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful (Psalm 80:5; NLT).
I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken. My spirit is poured out in agony (Lamentations 2:11; NLT).
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).
5. I cling to you (Psalm 63:8; NLT).
You examine us every morning and test us every moment (Job 7:18; NLT).
6. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15; NIV).
7. O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry for your help! (Psalm 141:1; NLT).
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth (Psalm 71:20; NLT).
8. Trust in God and trust also in me (John 14:1; NLT).
He has […] given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink (Lamentations 3:15; NLT).
If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; 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).
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.