1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How I am:
Though I have encouragement from being united with Christ and comfort from his love, though I have and desire fellowship with the spirit, I lack tenderness and compassion. I’m not always like minded with my brothers and sisters in Christ– unless people agree with me, though we have the same love we often seem to be at cross purposes.
Most of my actions are motivated by my own selfish ambition and or vain conceit. In my pride I consider myself better than others. I look to my own interests first, sometimes others may benefit.
My attitude looks nothing like Jesus.
Though in my nature I’m a sinner, It would appear I consider equality with God something to be grasped.I make myself seem important, treating those around me almost like servants. I am proud – I do what I want, avoid pain at all costs. I want my difficulties to be acknowledged.
I deserve to be brought low, my name is nothing next to his – at his name I should bow. Though I confess Jesus as Lord -I’m too busy seeking my glory.
I’ve heard this definition of humility and I like it: “humility is not thinking less about yourself but thinking about yourself less” but maybe a better definition would be to add " humility is looking at Jesus more".
To be humble I need to talk about myself less – ask other people how they are. But in the back of my mind I’m still thinking about myself, my problems, wondering why they are complaining, that’s not half as bad as what I’m dealing with. The power to overcome this sin, pride the root of pretty much all my sin, is found in the cross of Christ and I can see exactly what humility looks like in the life of Christ.
My needs have already been met , they have already been taken care of, I don’t need to look out for myself because God does. My encouragement, comfort and love comes from him. Even though I am sick with pride, though I deserve nothing, not even a glance, I have instead been united with Christ – I have fellowship with the spirit. If God can do that for me – show me that level of grace, how I can not show it to others?
It is hard to think of anything I would do naturally do that isn’t motivated by my selfish ambition. What about doing things for others even if it doesn’t benefit me at all? How about doing thingsd for others at my expense?
Not begrudgingly putting others first but actually considering them better – that means whatever is to their benefit is best – regardless of the cost to me.
This is in prayer – caring as much (even more) about the needs of others than my own – not just tacking prayers for them on at the end.
This is with my time – considering what benefits others, not just what can I be bothered to do.
This is with my money – how can I bless others? Not what can I afford after I have bought the stuff I want
This is with my words – what will encourage and build up? Not what makes me feel good or look good.
This is even in my thoughts. How is this possible?
My attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus – not just my behaviour but my attitude.
The reason this is so hard for me is that I think I’m someone important. I think I’m my own God. I say Jesus is Lord but I act like I am. Jesus is the ultimate picture of humility, but is not simply our example and our model, but the one who makes it possible.
How can I cultivate humility in my life? I can recognise that I have been set free from the idol of self by Jesus. I am free to live for him. I don’t need to look to my needs because he has taken care of all my needs. I am free to put other people first as I realise that Jesus was willing to die for me. I don’t need to define who I am or present an image to impress others because God tells me who I am and it's his, not man's, opinion I care most about.
I don’t need to try to control my own life because I can trust that He knows better than I do. That He is good and He does good. I can recognise that my joy is rooted not in pursuing my glory but living for his!