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A Look in the Mirror.

Long before children can read or write, they are taught to distinguish between ideas and concepts - such as looking at a screen or worksheet and choosing the one thing that does not fit.

Such a sequence comes to mind in Paul's description of Jesus:  human   humbled  slave   God.  Which of the four does not belong?  God.  And then along came Jesus.

Let's take a look. Shackled to a Roman guard at all times, yet Paul writes from his heart, charging the Philippian Christians to be more concerned about others than themselves, to spurn selfishness and conceit, and instead, choose to be like Jesus.  How I love this passage about our Lord!           

"You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

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.

When he appeared in human form,

    he humbled himself in obedience to God

    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor

    and gave him the name above all other names,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2.5-8

Paul is saying that Jesus Christ, though fully God, chose to make himself nothing, took on human flesh, assumed the nature of a servant and was obedient even to death - the worst kind of death, crucifixion.

And we are to have this mind or attitude in ourselves which was in Christ Jesus. That mind? Humility.  Humility is not something regarded too highly in our culture, however the Scriptures hold out humility as a virtue to be sought, a quality to embody, a discipline to be practiced and honed, and an attitude to possess.  This stands in stark contrast to the values we see peddled today: 'you do you,''Do what makes you happy,' no matter who gets hurt in the process.

Scripture is quite clear on the character quality of humility.

From the Old Bible as my mama called it,

"What does the Lord require of you?  

To act justly and to love mercy and to

walk humbly with your God."1   

Friend, are you humble?   Humility rightly values God-esteem above all else, fights the natural human bent of self-centeredness, and elevates the needs and concerns of others. Wanting to be humble, a man or woman isn't thinking just about how 'this or that' makes him feel or 'what's in it' for her. No, she is not thinking just of herself, but rather the needs of others before her own. Could it be that kindness flows out of humility?

I saw it on our Footsteps of Paul tour over and over. Hear me now--when the people of God conduct themselves as He would have us, when we love Him by loving and serving others, costly as it may be to self, it is the highest good. I will carry in my mind forever two men, one on either side of my brother-in-law, (strangers just a few short days before), helping him make his way up to the Acropolis--did I say way up? Watching the men make their way up the mountain surpassed the grandeur of the ancient site itself. [see picture below] Our group had several who were not fleet of foot, yet so desirous of seeing where Paul stood or where the apostle John wrote, where Paul argued with the philosophers in Athens, but the rocky pathway was steep, surfaces absolutely unforgiving. What to do? Turns out others were watching. And so it happened--those a little more sturdy on their feet, even a woman not so strong, were willing to link arms with another and serve them... humility in action. Simply beautiful. God honoring. Inspiring.

Once again, let us think of Paul as he wrote. He who by his own admission had every right to be proud was so convinced of the reality of a Messiah who suffered and died for him, so smitten by the self sacrifice of Jesus Christ--for this Jesus, he was willing to do whatever it took, whatever it cost him, to glorify God. Every day after Paul's Damascus Road come-to-Jesus moment3, afforded him one more opportunity to see himself rightly, and give up his rights to walk humbly before his God.


In order to have a right view of self, we must know Whose we are, and therefore, Who we are.  Genuinely humble people who have a desire to seek the well-being of others are actually generally very secure people.  They are fully aware of their gifts, their training, their experience, and all the attributes that make them successful at whatever they do.  That security-that honest, healthy self-assessment results in more than healthy self-assessment; it results in more than a humble constitution. It translates into actions that can be observed, actions that we want to emulate, and actions that reflect favorably on Jesus Christ.3 

Look in the mirror - are you humble?

Humility is a right position of the heart toward the Lord, (never forgetting we owe our lives and eternities to Jesus Christ), toward others and of ourselves.  One thing that does not seem like the other suddenly fits: me, humble, servant, unselfish.

"Jesus, teach us to be more like you; teach us to be humble."

this song speaks to me, Pat Barrett,

Something to think about for sure,


Philippians, #13

1 - Micah 6.8

3 - Thoughts from Chuck Swindoll, So, You Want to be Like Christ?

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