Is it just me, or is humility the virtue that many people admire but few actually want?
To the Philippians in the early 60’s, Paul wrote: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others…”
What a wonderful idea. And how incredibly difficult!
For the next few days I’m going to offer some practical suggestions. But today, we’re going to focus on WHY we’re to live like this. Yes, it’s an expression of the love we have for others (Mark 12:31). But it’s also because it’s the example of Jesus.
And followers are not above their masters.
Paul went on to write that Jesus, “being in very nature God… 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!” (Philippians 2:6-8).
Two wise and faithful men were being interviewed after years of exemplary teaching and service. They were both humble, despite their many accolades and awards. The interviewer asked how they were able to resist pride and stay humble? One of the men replied, “How on earth can anyone be arrogant when standing beside the cross?”*
Followers are not above their masters. Jesus is the Master. We are the followers. And he—in a powerful and humble act of self-sacrifice and self-denial—went to the cross for you and me.
Humility is focusing on someone else more than self.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.”
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s devotional is connected to my most recent sermon: “Choosing Humility.” Click here to watch it on YouTube.
—Human Trafficking. Did you know that 90% of people trafficked are from within Canada, that over 60% is within Ontario, with a concentration along the 401 corridor, and that recruitment for girls is as young as 12 (including sex trafficking)? I’m a part of FabFeb raising funds and awareness about human trafficking. Click here to learn more, to see my interview with a local volunteer or to contribute.
*D.A. Carson, Basics for Believers: The Core of Christian Faith and Life (BakerBooks: Grand Rapids, 1996), 72.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.