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  • Writer's pictureDeahna Tipton

Day 2: On Having a Humble Opinion of Oneself

This is a series of personally impactful excerpts from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis Book 1, Chapter 2 - followed by a brief prayer of reflection. I began this for my own reference but thought it may be helpful to others as well. As always, I encourage you to read the whole work yourself if you feel so inclined!

Book 1, Chapter 2: On Having a Humble Opinion of Oneself

  • Knowledge is a natural desire in all people. But knowledge for its own sake is useless unless you fear God. (pg.16)

  • An unlearned peasant, whose contentment is the service of God, is far better than the learned and the clever, whose pride in their knowledge leads them to neglect their souls while fixing their attention on the stars.(pp.16-17)

  • Many like to be considered learned and to be praised for their wisdom; how much knowledge there is which adds nothing to the good of the soul! To spend your life on worldly pursuits which do nothing to further your eternal salvation in unwise.(pg.17)

  • No matter how much you know, realize how much there is that you do not know. Do not be afraid to acknowledge your own ignorance.(pg.17)

  • Nothing is so beneficial as a true knowledge of ourselves, which produces a wholesome self-contempt.(pg.18)

  • Always think kindly of others, while holding yourself as nothing; this is true wisdom and leads to perfection.(pg.18)

  • If you see another commit a grievous sin, or whose faults are flagrant, do not regard yourself as better, for you do not know what you would do if similarly tempted. You are in good disposition now, but you do not know how long you will persevere in it.(pg.18)

  • Always keep in mind that all are frail but none so frail as yourself.(pg.18)

Lamb of God,

The world tells me that true humility is self-hatred. I am told to prioritize myself, to love myself and that I am perfect just the way I am. My focus in the eyes of the world should first fall inward - at the forefront of my concerns being how I feel, what I need, what others owe me, and how I compare to others. You call me out of this lie to see myself as I truly am - lowly, nothing, the farthest from perfect. But also completely loved, adored, made new, and pursued by my Creator despite my imperfections. I beg you to remove from my heart the desire to be knowledgeable simply for pride's sake, and replace with it the desire to only know myself in my poverty and you in your Great Perfect Love. Let all my desires and judgements of others flow only through that truth. Help me to rejoice in my imperfection as it lays me right where I belong - at your feet. Let me never tire in my pursuit to allow you to change me for the better all for the Glory of God and only according to His perfect will.


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