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“Humbled.”

was the response I got after I asked a client at my gym how he felt about that exercise.

I find is so incredible that we can be so aware of the things that humble us and not so much so of the things that puff us up and make us behave as if we’re better than everyone else. But even more incredible is that it’s the things that humble us that can make us feel the most incredible.

Humility’s a subject that I seem to have made a hobby of studying over the past few years. I’ve enjoyed reading John Dickson’s ‘Humilitas: The Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership and C. J. Mahaney’s ‘Humility: True Greatness’. But I think the most significant insights I’ve made on the subject have been through listening to Tim Keller’s sermons, particularly ‘The Sickness Unto Death’. In it Keller reveals how much we need God’s praise, and that all alternatives to God’s praise will ultimately fail. But more importantly, it is because in Jesus God brought his punishment so that we could get his praise that we truly humbled (and truly exalted at the same time).

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