Me, me, me! In a world where people constantly post selfies on social media, where psychologists are dedicated to helping people ‘find themselves’, and where we have to showcase the best version of ourselves in order to achieve anything, it is sometimes very difficult to take a step back and not take credit for something.
We go on mission trips and post pictures on Facebook or Instagram, we find a new way to serve the Lord and tell everyone about it for weeks before we start, we gush when people compliment us on our talents and achievements…but rarely do we ever think of anyone other than ourselves. Jesus, however, did quite the opposite – He was humble.
Humility is defined as regarding yourself as unimportant. But that is just one way of looking at it. In an effort to better understand what it should mean to us, we should consult scripture.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:3-11 (ESV)
Christ’s Humility, Our Audacity
As we look at the different characteristics of Jesus, keeping in mind that we should aim to become more Christ-like by imitating Him, we should also remember that literally everything is from Him.
I play several instruments and often use them to glorify Him on a Sunday morning. I have this wonderful, God-given talent…but sometimes I forget about the ‘God-given’ part. Many of us struggle with the same thing – we forget that we could do nothing without God; that He has given us everything that we have, and that no matter how hard or long we practice, we could never accomplish anything if it were not His will. Still, we wait with baited breath for the compliments to come in, we talk as if it were us that should be glorified instead.
Even when He prayed, Christ started with giving glory to God. He died, for the glory of God. If even He did so, how dare we try to do otherwise? Who do we think we are?
Live It Out!
Even though we do not realize it, to achieve a Christ-like level of humility is quite difficult. In fact, it would be a complete turn-around for some of us. It is one thing to wake up and say, “Today, everything is going to be about God, and nothing about me.” But in reality, we will slip up, we will forget, we will be proud of ourselves and forget that it is all because of Him; we aren’t perfect and the world has conditioned us to think about ourselves first. All we can do is try. So tonight, as you lay in bed, I would like to urge you to think of everything that happened today, in the last week, the last month, and the last year. Give glory to God for the things that He has done, that you have taken credit for. Not the talent you developed, but the talent He gave you; not the friend you lead to Christ, but the person that the Holy Spirit saved through you. In everything, it was never us, it was Him.