“…in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”
The first part of the second chapter in Philippians definitely packs a punch. The Apostle Paul wastes no time in exhorting Christians to be unified through humility. To make sure the exhortation sticks, he points to the Son of God as the epitome of humility. If we are to strive to be like Christ, and Christ demonstrated humility, then we are to also strive to be humble.
Let’s be honest. Humility is hard. There is no fun to be found (or glory, for that matter) in humbling ourselves. Many of us have experienced firsthand that if we don’t pursue humility on our own, God will waste no time showing us the way. Usually, that type of hard lesson comes through a circumstance that knocks us on the butt. Through a moment of “dark grace” we have no choice but to look up to the Light.
CALL TO ACTION
How do we go about our days not thinking too much (or too little) of ourselves?
- What does God see? This is a trick question! God sees us as we are, right? And He LOVES us for that. The beauty found in receiving love from a Perfect Father is that we are imperfect people. We are undeserving of His love but He gives it!!! When we remember that God sees our imperfections and shortcomings, we get an instant dose of humility!
- Dying to Self? Philippians 2:4 says that we are not only to look out for the interests of ourselves but also for the interest of others. This sounds great as long as it’s convenient for us, right? The thing is dying to self means giving up convenience. It’s NEVER convenient to stop what we’re doing to help someone else. Case in point? Parenting…a very real lesson in dying to self. Becoming a parent is a paradigm shift. Why? Because as parents, we no longer have the freedom of only looking out for themselves. The love we have for our children keeps us “dying to self” every single day.
- What Motivates You? Every once in a while we need to do a heart check. If you (or your children) are struggling with pride, ask yourself “Am I pursuing ____ for selfish ambition or am I pursuing it to glorify God?” If it’s selfish ambition, get your heart in order before going any further!
“Humility isn’t denying your strengths; it’s being honest about your weaknesses.” Rick Warren