So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. —Philippians 2:1-3
This comes as a surprise to a lot of people: being humble is not something that you are; it’s something you do! So, you don’t expect someday to say, “Wow, it’s finally happened, I am so humble right now. I wish my friends could see me.” Because as soon as you’re thinking that, humility is not happening. Humble is not something you are, it is something you do.
The Bible says is, “Humble yourself” (See James 4:10) or “. . . with all humility . . .” (Ephesians 4:2) In Luke 18:14b, Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Everyone will eventually discover humility, but only those who have humbled themselves will pass on to exaltation.
Now humbling yourself does not mean demean yourself or put yourself down. Humility is not like,“Wow, do I ever stink.” Often that’s false humility, a focus on self. Humility is not making the least of yourself; humility is making the most of others. Humility is very much an others-focused-thing.
That’s why it says in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” I’ll tell you, we will get a long way down the road of humility with that single focus, esteeming others as more important than ourselves.
This will help with humbling yourself: embrace slights and misunderstandings, when you’ve been overlooked—just embrace it and say, Well, that’s the way it should be and the only reason that’s bothering me is because I think I’m more important than I am. And if I would just realize that I’m not as important as I thought I was, it wouldn’t be so hard for me to handle this. That’s called humbling yourself. Your flesh is rising up and you’re pushing it down and humbling yourself. When you feel that the people in your family don’t appreciate you, you say, Well, but I’m a servant and I’m here to serve and I don’t need to be recognized or appreciated. It’d be nice if that would happen and I can pray about that but now, I’m gonna humble myself. Sound impossible? It is, without God’s help. Ask Him to teach you, by His Spirit, the discipline of humility. —James MacDonald
· How do I typically respond when I’ve been overlooked? What does that tell me?
· What can I do today to change that?
Prayer: Father, my flesh rises up in me. I feel it all the time. Help me, by Your strength and in Your love push it back down. Forgive me for thinking that I am more than I am. I need Your Spirit to help me think of others as better than myself. I know You love a contrite heart, and that’s what I want to have. In Jesus’ name, Amen.