A Christian's Habits: Chapter Eleven
The Habit of High-Minded Lowliness
“His deed sprang from his mindedness. His deed was lowly because his mindedness was high.”
I once had a seminary professor who was so pompous in his language and mannerisms that it was difficult to take him seriously. He was very intelligent. He had written some well-received books in his rather narrow field and was recognized as an expert. He had so much knowledge, but he lacked wisdom. I wasn’t the only one who had difficulty learning from him.
There was another teacher, however, who made me want to learn. I took every opportunity to learn from him, even when I had to fly across the country. He was a rather small, self-effacing Scotsman who lectured in an old-school style; reading from his notes for an hour or more. Often getting lost in one sentence and stuttering until he found his place again. Yet I couldn’t get enough of him. Part of his attraction was the wonderfully surprising way he saw the world. Another was that he was, if you had the patience for it, a wonderful storyteller. But the most appealing thing about Andrew F. Walls was his character. He was a wonderfully humble and caring man who was truly interested in others. He did not receive the credit he should have for his unusual insights. Many other scholars ran with his ideas and made names for themselves. But instead of book-writing and name-making, Professor Walls was known as a role model for his students of what it looked like to be a follower of Jesus. He had both knowledge and wisdom, what Speer calls “High-Minded Lowliness.” I hung on his every word.
I wish I could introduce you personally to Andrew Walls so you could learn from him as I have. But he passed away recently. I will be sharing notes from his lectures in future posts. But what I can do now is to share Robert Speer’s writing about developing that wonderful combination of knowledge and wisdom that was so powerful in Professor Walls’ life.
This is a companion chapter to the previous habit, “High-Mindedness.” I would recommend reading the other one first if you haven’t already. Once you have read that, you have to read this chapter patiently. Some have even found that it took two readings to begin to take in all that he is saying. As with so many things in life, if you persevere you will find the treasure that is here for you.
So without further ado, chapter eleven of A Christian’s Habits, “The Habit of High-Minded Lowliness.