Living in HumilityToday is the last day of the year. It is a time to reflect on the past while striving to move forward in faith. God has been ever so present at our church. We have seen many new faces and have seen many new opportunities to grow together to the maturity of Christ. As we set our sights on letting Jesus be Lord of all in this New Year, I want to bring our attention to Philippians 2:1-11.
Paul knew that there is a difference between unity and uniformity. True spiritual unity comes from within; it is a matter of the heart. Uniformity is the result of pressure from without. This is why Paul opens this section appealing to the highest possible spiritual motives in verses 1-4. Since the believers of Philippi are “in Christ” this ought to encourage them to work toward unity and love, not division and rivalry. In Paul’s way, he was saying to the church, “Your disagreements reveal that there is a spiritual problem in your fellowship. It isn’t going to be solved by rules or threats; it’s going to be solved when your hearts are right with Christ and with each other.” Paul wanted them to see that the basic cause of disunity was selfishness, and the cause of that was pride. There is no joy in the life of a Christian who puts himself above others.
The secret of joy in spite of circumstances is found in Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” In Philippians 1, it is “Christ first” and in Philippians 2 it is “others next.” Paul the soul winner in Philippians 1 becomes Paul the servant in Philippians 2.
It is important that we understand what the Bible means by “humility.” The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all. Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it. The humble person knows himself and accepts himself. Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” The humble one yields himself to Christ to be a servant to bring glory to God and to see himself through the gift of faith given by God Himself.
Being a servant does not mean that the believer is at the beck and call of everybody else or that he is a “religious doormat” for everybody to use! Paul is not suggesting that we purchase friends or maintain unity in the church by giving in to every whim and wish. Look at what 2 Corinthians 4:5 says, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Did you see it? It is for the sake of Christ. All that we do should be for the sake of Christ. If we put Christ first then we will have no problem submitting to others in service.
Before you start the New Year, take the time to read Philippians 1 and 2. Make this a year to remember by being filled with the spirit and attitude of Jesus in all things.
I am looking forward to seeing what Jesus does through His Holy Spirit who lives in us this year.
Joy in Jesus!