"Be little in thine own esteem"

This is the advice of C.H. Spurgeon, writing on James 4:6: He giveth grace unto the humble. The passage from James is actually a citation made by James from Proverbs 3:34, which underscores its eternal truth: God will provide grace for those who are humble, who know that it is all His, that everything we are we owe to Him.
Brother Spurgeon’s take on this, from today’s Faith’s Check Book

Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them, Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them.

Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, “I fear I am not humble.” It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us to taste of His favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God.

Note that point about how “some are proud of being humble.” I think we’ve all known, or heard of, people exhibiting this false humility. Anytime I find myself thinking, let alone saying out loud, “I am humble, Oh Lord, won’t you favor me with your grace,” I simply kick myself and remember I’ve not earned this grace through any action on my part.

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