Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:
Though he was in the form of God,
he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
But he emptied himself
by taking the form of a slave
and by becoming like human beings.
When he found himself in the form of a human,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Therefore, God highly honored him
and gave him a name above all names,
so that at the name of Jesus everyone
in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Humility is a quality most of us don’t think too much about anymore. We live in the age of self-promotion. We constantly hear that you have to “build your personal brand.” No one gets ahead at work without highlighting their achievements. Our social media pages always portray our best selves.
As humans, we instantly know when people are full of themselves. We have very sophisticated ego detectors. And when we sense an overinflated sense of self, especially in a leader, we immediately doubt the sincerity of whatever that person is trying to get across. We roll our eyes at all the name dropping and the not-so-subtle hints at the things someone has done and seen.
Philippians says that Jesus, “though he was in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.” He didn’t come to be served. He didn’t come celebrating his identity as God’s Son. In fact, all of his life choices point in the opposite direction. Jesus chose the path of downward mobility that ultimately led him to the cross.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to be considering the importance of humilty on a Christian’s spiritual journey. Let’s allow this scripture – and Jesus’ example – to guide our thinking and understanding.
For Pondering & Prayer
If you agree that humility is an important dimension of the spiritual life, how can we assess how we’re doing with it? Isn’t our own internal measurement always going to be flawed?
Think about the most humble people you know. What are the traits they have that you want to emulate?