Monday, September 10, 2012
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Humility: A deep sense of one’s own moral littleness; having a humble opinion of oneself.
Every move a Christian makes in this life should flow from a spirit of humility - an ever-present understanding that our lives are not about us. We are here for God’s purposes and for God’s glory. Every encounter, every decision, every conversation, and every task should exalt Christ. The Apostle John said it this way in John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Humility isn’t so much about our relationships with other people, but our relationship with Christ. It is impossible to “do nothing out of selfish ambition” or “consider others better than yourselves” if our focus is on other people. Humility comes from a continual focus on the greatness and kindness of God. When we consider Christ’s sacrifice for us, His unconditional love and mercy, it reminds us of whom we are…imperfect, redeemed sinners.
It is in this posture that we should approach others. What does this look like practically? It means being willing to overlook a wrong. It means a willingness to forgive. It means not being easily angered or offended. A humble life is marked by patience, grace, kindness and gentleness. It does not mean continually allowing others to mistreat, use or abuse us. It doesn’t mean a complete disregard for self. Notice Paul says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests.” It means that our own interests should not be the driving force of every decision we make.
The perfect example of such a person is Jesus Christ. The four gospels give us a front-row seat to humility lived out. In Jesus we see a balance of selflessness, firmness, kindness, forgiveness and righteous anger. Jesus had no reason to be humble. He is, after all, God. Yet He came to earth, humbling Himself, for the glory of God and the sake of people who didn’t deserve His love.
Dear God, When I think of Your mercy, love and kindness to me, I cannot help but to be humbled. Please help me to live each day in response to this truth. I pray Your love and forgiveness would flow through me so my life will lead others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.