Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
I love Philippians 2:1-11, but I often miss the main point of this passage. Verses 6 to 11 are a beautiful description of Jesus Christ and who he is—and I love those words—but that whole section is an illustration which Paul is using to encourage the reader to be humble—and that encouragement usually goes right past me without making a dent in my pride-filled heart.
Humility does not come naturally to me. I suppose it does not come naturally to anyone. Some people are humble but their humility is self-referential (e.g. I am not good enough to do something like that) so it is actually a false humility.
Only Jesus can make us truly humble. Only Jesus can slay the fire-breathing dragon of pride that thrives in the heart of every human being. Only Jesus gives us a new life with him where we do not need to be concerned about power because Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and he loves us. With Jesus as the King over our lives, we do not need to be concerned about protection because we are forever safe in his loving care. Not even death can separate us from Jesus and his great love for us. With Jesus managing each moment of our day to day life, we do not need to be concerned about purpose for the goal of the Most High God of the universe is to seek and save that which is lost, and he invites us to join him on his mission of renewing and restoring all things.
Somewhere deep inside of us these things resonate with us for we were made for a relationship with God. We each have a God-given purpose and Jesus is inviting us to let him live his life through us to fulfill that purpose. That takes humility on our part. But it is through humility—the humility of Jesus and the humility of trusting in Jesus in all things—that we have life.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to be truly humble. Show me the areas in my life where I am prideful and, by your Holy Spirit, help me to turn away from my pride and towards you. Please come and live your life through me. Amen.