Thomas Charles III: Growing in Humility

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This is Part III in our four-part series on Thomas Charles, pride, and humility. If you haven’t yet, watch or listen to Part I and Part II.

“What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” 1 Corinthians 4:7


All the works of God reflect balance, proportion, beauty. It’s the same with the spiritual man. All the qualities of Christlikeness ought to be increasing in proportion as we move along in the Christian life. The grace of knowledge should be growing proportionally with love, joy, peace, and humility. 


Our vertical virtues (directly aimed at God)--love, devotion, consecration--cannot be growing in a healthy way if they’re not also producing a balanced growth in the way we deal with other people. If a man claims he has this vertical growth, but it does not accompany external things, something’s not right. If we say we’re humble before God, but we’re proud in the way we deal with those around us, we may not be humble after all.

Thomas Charles writes, “If we truly believe that we receive everything from God, we cannot glory in it as if we did not receive it. Do you believe this?”

Thomas Charles’ letter is broken down into three headings. We look at the first two headings in this episode.

Pride and Humility Think Differently

Pride makes a man prone to see the flaws of others and exaggerate his own strength. Humility makes a man prone to see the good in others and his own flaws. Rebuke is costly and hard to the humble man. 

Pride and Humility Talk Differently

Pride is severe, humility is compassionate. Pride is contemptuous, whereas humility is loving.
Thomas Charles writes, “Humility speaks, if it must speak at all, with compassion and godly sorrow and with fervent prayer for them, well-knowing that if there be any difference between him and the vilest sinner on earth, it was grace that made it.”
Pride tends to revile when rebuked or persecuted. But true humility, when persecuted, responds in love and says, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
“Being reviled, we bless.”
There’s a lot of pride in us - a lot of opportunities to go to God and ask Him to remove the pride that has been built up in our hearts.
A proud man almost has to hear criticism delivered perfectly to receive it at all. In fact, in the midst of criticism, he only grows more proud. But a humble man can hear criticism imperfectly and still humble himself.
We can adjust our words and still be proud. Thomas Charles seeks to remind us of the gracious nature of our relationship with God - the purest form of undeserved friendship in love. When we see the beauty of this reality, it will change the way we think and the way we speak.

 

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 Supporter Episode

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Show Notes

Podcast Resources:

Treatise on Pride by Thomas Charles

The Calvinistic Fathers of Wales by John Morgan Jones

Thomas Charles Spiritual Counsels by Edward Morgan

The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock

Path of Evangelism Series

Matthew 5:3-6

 

Supporter Appreciation Episode Resources:

 

Wise Counsel by John Newton