The opening chapter of Barefoot disciple is titled ‘Christlike wisdom’. Exploring Matthew 11:25-30, Stephen Cherry articulates that in these verses Jesus is initiating a new form of understanding and wisdom. He calls it ‘Christlike wisdom’, the down to earth wisdom of humility, which itself stands, almost unnoticed, at the heart of this passage.
This exploration and passage link to the question: Is it actually possible to learn humility? Humility if pursued intentionally is difficult. So perhaps I should end my journey now!? Especially so if my real intention is simply to ‘acquire’ humility and see this journey as a box ticking one. Pursuing and acquiring seem utterly wrong and worthless. However what about aspiring? The chapter suggests that it is right and good to aspire to humility.
Here are some of the profound quotes from this chapter that for me seem to affirm the fact that seeking to aspire to humilty, to take a journey and explore it and explore ways of walking in humility with passion and integrity are right and good.
“Learning humility involves learning at the level that causes us to adjust our sense of who we are and what the world is really like”
The chapter takes on the idea of learning and discipleship as a ‘journey’ that enables us to explore questions of who we are becoming, how do we move out of our comfort zone and the importance of learning from a variety of sources on the journey namely scripture, fellow travelling companions and our own experiences.
It is keen to state that whilst reflection is important we should not slip into excessive agonising and introspection but instead to ‘gaze outwards’ and look to people who have demonstrated great humility and gentleness to us. For me there are many heroes and people who have modelled that and shown me true humility and I am thankful for how and also what they have taught me.
” Growth in humility happens through a process not of instruction or education as such, but through openness and vulnerability. It is grace that makes us humble. Our humility, if it exists at all, is nothing less than the grace of God in us”
This is profound and for me brings hope and healing. It shows that striving or seeking to acquire humility is not only impossible but also flawed and completely delusional. However to aspire to humility “is to discover what the true meaning of our place in life, in God’s creation might be”