Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What is True Humility?

This is Part 3 in a series on Philippians 2. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

We don't like the word humility. We don't want to talk about it or think about it. But it comes up consistently in Scripture. Because of this, it becomes clear that humility is key in living our lives following Christ's example.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4)

Paul calls his readers to humility in how they treat one another. He then goes on to point to the ultimate example of humility - Jesus Christ - in the verses that come next.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5)

Being willing to give up everything to serve others and love others. Not seeking to make a name or ourselves, but for God. This is what humility really is. Seeking to serve and love others to make God known, not ourselves.

So, what does it look like to follow Jesus' example of humility? How do we live if we are following His example?

Philippians 2:6-8 says,

     "Who, being in very nature God,
          did not consider equality with God
               something to be grasped;
     rather, He made Himself nothing
          by taking the very nature of a servant,
          being made in human likeness.
     And being found in appearance as a man,
          He humbled Himself
          by becoming obedient to death -
              even death on a cross!"

Jesus gave up all the rights and privileged that came with being God's Son and came to earth as a man. He experienced things as we do living on earth. He didn't come as a king expecting to be served. He wasn't born into a family with status. Jesus didn't come expecting the world to do everything He wanted and serve His every need.

Jesus came to serve and love us! He gave up everything He had so that He could purchase us back from the bondage we were in. He came to free us. And that meant coming to serve us.

This is what true humility looks like. Coming to serve and love others at personal cost. It's not about thinking of ourselves as having no value. But it is, as Paul says earlier, about "[valuing] others above ourselves." (vs. 3). We put others first, as we seek to love and serve them.

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