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

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “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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