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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bennion's Teachings of the New Testament, List 3

by Seattle Jon (bio)

A few months ago I purchased and slowly read Teachings of the New Testament, written by Lowell Bennion and used in the adult Sunday School in 1953. Brother Bennion was Director of the Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City when he wrote the manual.

There are 44 chapters, or lessons, in the manual designed to "bring out the moral and religious implications of New Testament teachings for our times." Our time is not their time, but the fundamental principles taught by our Savior are timeless in their application. Here is the third of four lists (lists one, two) in the manual I found interesting, uplifting and easy to replicate in post form.

How can we measure our own humility?

1. A humble person is a good listener. He does not monopolize the conversation or discussion, but is pleased to hear from others. He listens to learn from them and out of respect for their thinking and feeling. This does not mean, of course, that all good listeners are humble; but humble people listen.

2. A humble person learns from others. He gives heed not only to his superiors and to those whom he has "an obligation to please," but he learns also from his subordinates, from his colleagues, his wife, and his children. He is "not wise in his own conceits." Because he is authoritative in one field, he does not claim to be authoritative in all fields. He recognizes his own limited background and eagerly seeks the counsel and wisdom of men and women trained in other fields as well as in his own.

3. A humble person rejoices in the success of others. Even in that of his colleagues and competitors. John the Baptist and Paul exemplified this rare expression of humility. Speaking of Jesus, whose wide acclaim threatened his own popularity, John said: He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

4. A humble person acknowledges his mistakes, errors, and sins. He does not excuse them nor seek to blame others for them. He feels no need to build up and safeguard a false picture of himself. In him is a minimum of pretense and deceit.

5. A humble person accepts himself. Unhampered by feelings of conceit or self-debasement, he is free to give all of his thought and effort to the task at hand. People err who identify stage fright with humility. Stage fright may be evidence of lack of humility, for it is a reflection of self-concern.

6. A humble person searches for the truth and the right. Recognizing the glory of God, the wonders of his creation, and the fine qualities of his fellow men, he seeks after these things.

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