Humility Doesn’t Sell

I recently submitted a new book proposal on the subject of humility. But, after the editorial team at this (held anonymous) publishing house reviewed it, they decided against it…their reason: humility doesn’t sell.

Interesting to note what does sell today! Books of a self help nature or with fascination toward winning or bettering oneself in one way or another. Self promotion seems to reign supreme in this glorified high school world of Facebook (which I’m on) and Blogging (which I do) and in a culture where we compete with one another (yup that’s in me too) and critique others out of a place of deep insecurities (ok that’s true of me too) in order to climb whatever ladder is in front of us (been there done that)…none of which looks at all like humility!

We are willing to sell our souls to the company store in order to afford all that the online, big box, and mall stores have to offer. Even in the world of ministry and yes even in the realm of spiritual formation ministry, there is a fascination for being the best, brightest, busiest, and even the most witty, wise and wealthy (go figure!). We live in a rather dog eat dog (horrible image…sorry) world and an upwardly mobile one to boot. So, it’s difficult to raise topics like “dying to self” and “considering the needs of others more important than your own” and “coming alongside another for their sake and not your own” and “sacrificial service” and “generous giving” and “giving up” and “letting go” and “choosing less” and “false self” and “reordering loves” and “releasing attachments.”

Yes, the publisher was absolutely right…humility doesn’t sell, at least not in our self-focused world today. But, I would suggest, humility is more precious than diamonds, more costly than gold, and more beautiful than any other gift we can offer another. When you know someone with a humble heart you have a firsthand glimpse of the eyes, and you touch the hands, and you hear the voice, and you feel the love of God.

Thank you to the humble ones who gave of themselves so I could experience the true heart of God. I’m sold out on humility…not because I understand or live it myself but because I’m a grateful recipient…and my life has been marked permanently by the gifts of an abundant life I’ve received from humble-hearted servants of the most humble, sacrificial, and generous One of all…Jesus.

Does humility sell in your heart too? Can you imagine life without the humble? Would you be willing to forfeit something you think you can’t live without today in order to offer a humble gift of love to someone who crosses your path, yes even today?

Consider the needs of others as greater than your own…and then watch your heart come alive! Phil 2: 3-11

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.