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.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; NLT).
1. At birth
We separate from you –
Living in exile,
Far from heaven above.
2. Each day,
We search for you as best we can –
Bearing our burdens;
Growing in your love.
3. Throughout our lives
We strive to do your will –
Serving your kingdom;
Following your Son.
4. In death,
We reunite with you at last –
Dwelling beyond all time,
For we are one.
Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love
(Romans 8:38; NLT).
Image: jplenio, Pixabay
1. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5; NLT).
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13; NIV).
You brought me out of the womb (Psalm 22:9; NIV).
I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile (Ezekiel 11:16; NLT).
2. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13-14; NIV).
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).
May the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow (1 Thessalonians 3:12; NLT).
3. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God (Psalm 143:10; NLT).
I want your will to be done, not mine (Matthew 26:39; NLT).
Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28; NKJV).
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19; NLT).
4. Then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23:6; KJV).
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one (John 17:21; NLT).
All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen (Jude 1:25; NLT).