The contrast between pride and humility is often easy for us to see in other people. In this book, Hannah Anderson strips away our spiritual guise to reveal our hearts and the pride that lives inside us.
Humility Leads to Rest
It doesn’t feel like the “pride of life” when I am awake thinking most of the night. It feels like a normal thing to do with a to-do list that is never fully accomplished, concerns with family and friends and church, and nothing short of momentous goals for the future. And yet Hannah Anderson proves in Humble Rootsthat pride is exactly what I am exhibiting in those wee hours.
As she puts it, “Pride convinces us that we are stronger and more capable than we actually are. Pride convinces us that we must do and be more than we are able. And when we try, we find ourselves feeling, ‘thin, sort of stretched… like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.’ We begin to fall apart physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the simple reason that we are not existing as we were meant to exist.”
And so for me, in this time of my life, the frequent audible “ouch” could be heard often as I turned the pages of this book. Humble Roots held the sweet combination of encouragement and conviction, like a friend who knows you just a little too well and is very honest.
Every chapter has a gardening illustration which seems to perfectly capture Hannah’s point. She somehow weaves tomatoes with wisdom, and local honey with immortality, and all of it ties perfectly with the overriding contrast of pride and humility.
The Pain and Joy of Conviction
Before reading this book I think my opinion about pride and humility was rather static with definite ideas about how each appeared lived out in daily life but not a thorough, close examination of it in my own heart. This book looks painfully close at the sin that so easily fills our hearts and exposes the root of it all – pride.
I wouldn’t have considered myself a terribly prideful person and now I struggle to write that because I can see the pride in that statement. “Pride both overestimates our abilities and underestimates God.” And so I find myself considering the pride in my heart as I battle overachievement and laziness, consumerism and minimalism, sleep and sleeplessness.
Humble Roots ultimately culminates in what is the most difficult, forceful display of God’s hatred of our pride – death. And proves that through this most challenging circumstance, God is glorified to bring us low and then exalt us with eternal resurrection from the dead.
Hannah Anderson beautifully weaves the stories of her life with the truths of Scripture such that the reader feels as though we know her family and have walked the streets of her town while gaining that beautiful insight that comes from long hours spent in the Word.
Ultimately the goal of humility is to find the rest our souls so long for. We wrongly think, in all our striving, that we will get to a place when we are finally able to rest from our work. Our homes will someday be organized enough, our budgets will someday be balanced enough, our income will someday be high enough, our health will someday be good enough. And, in all our striving, we continue to fall flat on our faces. Because the source of rest, as Hannah proves, is not in our accomplishments but in submission to Christ Who has already accomplished everything necessary on our behalf.
Other Books to Help You On This Journey
As you know, I recently finished reading Refresh by Shona Murray which also focuses on rest in a burnout culture (Check Out My Review of it Here). In my opinion, these two works go hand in hand. Refresh approaches the subject of our striving from a whole life perspective, digging into the physical and spiritual problems and solutions. Humble Roots takes on the biggest aspect of the spiritual problem that is at the heart of burnout head on.
These two books have been tremendously helpful to me this year as the Lord conforms my heart through life circumstances, the teachings of Scripture, and the counsel of friends to let go of my striving and seek and serve the Savior Who has already finished the work. This honestly allows me to accomplish more because my mind is not racing but is becoming more fully present. I am able to set aside tomorrows jobs, trusting that “my God will supply all [my] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
This is a long and painful process. It reveals just how deeply rooted my sin is and also how beautifully patient my God is to gently show me these things and walk through them with me.
I encourage you to pick up your copy of Humble Roots today! You will be glad you did!
If you would like to read more about Hannah’s first book, which is honestly one of my favorite books of all time, check out my review of Made for More here.
Humble Roots acts as the second part of that conversation. Upon finishing Made for More many readers were left wondering how to actually live it out which is the question Hannah answers for us in this book.
Have you read Made for More or Humble Roots? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Do you have another book you would like to recommend? I’m always looking for great books to read!