Humility is Hard
“…lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Phil 4:1-3 NLT
Humility just feels so difficult – especially when everything in our 21st century culture tells us that it is our destiny to be great. Everything we see and hear in the media encourages us to put ourselves first, to strive to be more successful, smarter, stronger, thinner…greater. Isn’t it great to be great? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with personal achievement, but when we become so consumed with our own desire for approval and importance, it’s easy to ignore and even trample on the needs and perspectives of others. Even when we are busy serving in ministry, our thoughts can get sidetracked by concerns for our own success and status. We convince ourselves that God wants us to be amazing and soon we are serving ourselves instead of serving God and others. The very idea of humility is impossibly opposite of the ways of this world. The apostle Paul reminds us that as people called by God, we are to think differently. In fact, we are to have “…the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” Phil 2:5-7. Wow! What a profound example Jesus has set for us. As Christ followers, we are to climb off our pedestals of self-importance and put the emphasis where it belongs: on God’s awesomeness rather than our own. And as we put ourselves aside, our eyes will be open to the other people we might serve. We will see their perspectives, needs and fragility and put them above our own. Joy comes when we lay aside our own power and rest in God’s.
Prayer: Creator God, I know that all I am and all I have is from you. Help me always to keep you at the center of my life so that I may live worthy of the calling I have received from you. May I have the humble, servant mindset of Christ. Amen.