Daily Riches: The Descent of God (Augustine, Joseph Hallman, Thomas a Kempis)

“To have no opinion of ourselves,

and to think always well and highly of others,
is great wisdom and perfection.”
Thomas a Kempis

“The Son of God came down and was made humble. …God was made humble for you.” Augustine

“…this is the truth unknown to philosophy. …not found in Epicureans, Stoics, Manichees, or Platonists. Although discovering the best precepts of custom and discipline, they never find humility. This comes only from Christ who became humble even to death on the cross. The humility exhibited by the Word in the Incarnation is the cure for pride, the worst of all sins. Only divine humility is true medicine for superbia [haughtiness]. …It is indeed correct to say that, for Augustine, ‘it is the humility of Christ which is the most striking feature of the Incarnation.’ Augustine has grasped precisely that the core of Christian faith is an acceptance of the divine kenosis in Jesus of Nazareth. To get a sense of the impression Phil. 2:6-8 made on Augustine one should consult the Index at the end of [his Corpus Christianorum]…. There are two hundred or more citations or allusions to this text in De Trinitate alone. Even more impressive is the fact that in Augustine’s entire corpus he cites part or all of this passage 422 times, and alludes to it 563 times. Thus he had it in mind nearly a thousand times when he wrote.” Joseph Hallman

“Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:6-8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When you look at today’s church–today’s Christian–at yourself in the mirror–do you see humility?
  • Consider the practices of silence, sabbath, listening well, loving well, receiving instruction, simplicity – think how each of these requires or teaches humility.
  • How formative is the Incarnation of Jesus in your life? Has what he did for you in that way ever really gripped you?

Abba, help me to learn to consistently think well and highly of others.

For More: The Descent of God: Divine Suffering in History and Theology by Joseph M. Hallman

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

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