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Humbled: Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God by David Mathis is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the true nature of humility and its role in the Christian life. This book provides a concise and accessible study of Scripture's humble-self language, revealing two surprising lessons about the pursuit of humility. Through examples from the Bible, Mathis shows that humility is not something we can achieve on our own, but rather it is initiated by God's humbling hand. The question then becomes, will we receive it or kick against it? This book is a powerful reminder that true humility is not about self-promotion or false modesty, but it is about acknowledging our dependence on God and recognizing our limitations.

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"Humbled" by David Mathis is a useful, concise book exploring how Christians can approach humility from a biblical perspective. I received a manuscript from NetGalley that I will note had a few issues--missing text, repeated text, and a few missing chapter titles--that were likely corrected before final publishing. These issues did not ultimately detract from Mathis' message. Mathis relies heavily on biblical examples from the Old Testament and the Gospels to make his points, starting first with explaining what the Bible wants us to understand about humility before providing more practical tips to Christians near the end of the book. Throughout the book, Mathis emphasizes that humility is not an action taken but a response that first comes from God. I appreciate the author's willingness to keep the book under 100 pages and make these important lessons more accessible to the average Christian reader, as some more theologically dense books can be a bit of a chore to get through. Mathis does a good job of teaching to his audience in a loving manner, recognizing that much of our understanding of humility is misplaced and in need of correction. This book felt especially urgent for me personally as I deal with a transition in my life that would make it easy for me to take shortcuts and fail to truly humble himself. I look forward to applying these lessons on humility in my own life.

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Although this book is small it is definitely mighty in getting its point across. Humbled speaks to exactly what the title alludes to, humbling yourself and why it is important especially in today’s society. This book is full of scriptural references to tell the points the author makes of the historical context of being humble and how it is an important practice.

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I am glad David Mathis kept his book on humility short.  But don’t mistake brevity for lack of punch!  Mathis packed it full of challenges and I found myself highlighting many passages to come back to.  The book covers our response to being humbled including prayer, fasting and obedience - as well as how we can practically pursue humility from day to day.  I loved the reminder that Jesus embodied humility when he emptied himself (Phil 2).  When we feel as if we have been emptied and wrung out, he chose to be emptied in order to serve us.

#bookstagram #netgalley #bookreview #davidmathis #humbled #humility

A lingering question  was “how might God be humbling me in this frowning providence?”

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I started using a new app that stores quotes I’ve highlighted in my kindle books. Each day I'm sent a highlight reel to look at and review. As these words are randomly shuffled and appear in my inbox, it’s been interesting to see how many different quotes I’ve taken note of which relate to the topic of humility.

If I look back further in my life, the scripture passage at our wedding was Philippians 2 and the humility of Christ. There’s a sinful tendency of pride in my life. Like a leech stuck to my toe at the beach, I need to pull it off-the sin that so easily entangles.

Scripture contrasts pride with humility, “those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Dan 4:37) and “he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). For those who struggle with pride-and I’d venture to say we’ve all been there a time or two-learning about humility is important.

Humbled: Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God by David Mathis is a great place to start. It’s a short book, 128 pages, providing a ton of great truth for us to marinate in. He reminds us that humility is not “preoccupied with oneself and one’s own lowliness, but first mindful and conscious of God and his highness,”that it’s not, “self-help or a life hack, but a response to divine initiative and help.”

He explores the lives of three Old Testament kings, gleaning insight about their responses to circumstances, which we can apply when our own humbling moments arrive. See, “the invitation to humble ourselves does not come to us in a vacuum but through our first being humbled.”

One of the ways we’ve seen this invitation is, perhaps surprisingly, “conflict among those claiming the name of Christ humbles the church. It serves as a test of pride and humility.”

Conflict in the church anyone?

I think it's one reason why this book is so relevant for us today.

The question then becomes, how we will respond to the humbling hand of God as we engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ, in the midst of conflict and challenging circumstances.

While we can’t cause sanctification happen on our own, God’s initiative and ongoing grace in our lives leads us to patterns and habits which prepare us to respond with humility when the opportunity comes. Through his means of grace-reading the Word, prayer, fellowship and fasting-we are positioning ourselves for God to complete the work he has already begun in us.

“Prayer, we might say, is the quintessential act of self-humbling, as we confess to God some inability on our part, and attribute decisive power to him, and plead for his help”

Finally, he points us to the model for humility-our Saviour. The son of God, enthroned with the Father, sent to us to be beaten, humiliated and killed for our sake. He made himself nothing, accepting the cup the Father had given him, to perfect obedience.

The greatness of God can’t leave my vision. It’s beholding him and the wonders of his grace that remind me of who I am. A rescued and redeemed woman belonging to his body, his church, with whom we celebrate and await his return.

As lonely and weary as we may feel during our times of humbling, we are not alone, he is with us. It’s in this uncomfortable work we practice trust and dependence on him, we learn to show grace and love, we embed truths of the Word deep within us to remember who our God is, that we would fix our eyes on him.

“God indeed does command our humility. His hand and plan conspire to humble us, whether through pandemics of the consequences of personal sin.”

This is a book for all believers; to embrace a posture of humility and adopt habits in our lives which prepare us for the moments God’s humbling hand arrives, which will be through circumstances, conflict and consequences of sin. Check out the link to preorder it today!

Quick Stats
# of pages:128
Level of Difficulty:
My Rating: ***** = 5 stars!!

*A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review!

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What is humility and why do we want it? Honestly, I picked up this book after hearing the title, I know that I could learn a lot about the beauty of humility. And I did. This book is set up in 8 short chapters, written in essay form about what the Bible has to say about humility. The lessons I learned in this book will stay with me in the days to come as I evaluate my reactions to world around me.

"...humility embraces the reality that I am not God."

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David Mathis has offered a book that reads like a topical sermon. There are some positives and negatives to this approach.

The good: it’s short. Far too often it feels like authors try to hit that magical 200 page mark when writing about specific topics. And it doesn’t matter how complicated or simple it is, there are too many books that are 50 pages too long. Not so with this one, and there isn’t any compromise on quality.

The content within is high quality all throughout. Except for one spot (see below) I found myself tracking along well with the book and didn’t feel lost at any point. This means there was enough discussion to make is both practical and intellectual without being too simple or over bearing in knowledge.

There is also strong use of and reliance on scripture. Humility is a huge topic in the bible and should be sourced from here more than any other book (at least in Christian circles), and Mathis does incredibly well with this.

There is one bad spot however.

In discussing fasting as an area of humility Mathis references Ahab (the most evil king) and how at his fasting and repentance, God did not strike down the evil king when he saw this action. Even though that was clearly the plan. Mathis attributes this to the humility Ahab shows in going to a fast. But there is no mention of King David (who by most standards was a far more righteous king) and his fast in hopes to save his son after his sin with Bathsheba. Humility was obvious in his fast, yet there was no change in the plan. I feel by leaving this out a disservice is done to the book, readers may want to know the difference in the stories and why mercy was shown in one and not the other.

Overall, a great book that should be considered by all, and can be used as a study in the topic of humility.

*I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These are my personal thoughts.

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Great little book with good info, well organized. I wanted more personal example, personal stories. I loved that the author used so much scripture for each point. That was great. But I wanted some put the feet to the road, this is how this looks today type stuff. That would have taken the book to the next level. However, the writing was easy to follow and understand and content was applicable.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

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