In Humble Roots, Hannah Anderson discusses the path to humility for the weary, downtrodden Christian. The premise of the book is that humility is rooted in recognizing our inadequacy in the presence of our all-powerful God. Anderson argues that regardless of how highly we think of ourselves, we are only dust and vapour that depend on Christ as the source of our life. It is the sufficiency of Christ who took on the ultimate act of humility through His incarnation that relieves us from the anxieties and worries of our lives. In each chapter, the author uses a different plant analogy to illustrate how our many attempts to control our lives originate from the pride, deceit, and sinfulness that is deep within our hearts. For example, Anderson describes how vine plants in France struggled immensely against phylloxera which originated from America. These insects killed off the French vines which had no immunity against these foreign invaders. The solution was to graft the French vine branches to the roots of American vine plants allowing the former to acquire protection against the insects and became fruitful again. Using this analogy, the author states that we also need to be grafted to Christ as the vine that gives us new life. Without His power to sustain us, our efforts to be productive will eventually wither from life’s trials and temptations. Besides the intriguing content, I also enjoyed Anderson’s fluid writing style and choice use of words along with her personal examples which helped make the material accessible and relatable.
I recommend this book to all Christians as humility is a virtue that all of us can learn more of. The irony lies in that the harder one tries to be humble, the harder it is to be genuinely humble. Anderson points out that our efforts to be humble are often a cloaked form of the pride that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden. When we submit our inadequacies and insecurities to Jesus, the perfect God-man, we can find true rest that frees us from the yoke of pride. Thus, the best way to learn humility is to focus on Christ as He exhibited perfect obedience to the Father. Being humble is not simply imitating Jesus using our own strength as this would push us towards pride again; we find true humility when we cling on to Christ Himself. May we find our rest and peace in Him who bore our sins and weaknesses thereby giving us freedom from trying to do everything ourselves.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.