“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Humility is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance. By definition, humility seems to go against the very nature of the flesh and of the world’s philosophy of “me first”. The world today preaches a mindset of selfishness, watching out for yourself, and putting your needs above those of around you, which starkly contrasts with the scripture above.
Men and women have been struggling with selfish ambition from the very start of time. In fact, think back to Eve in the Garden of Eden. When Satan appears to her and tempts her to eat the forbidden fruit, he tempts her by saying to her that she could evade death and be like God if only she will eat the fruit. As we all know, Eve selfishly made a choice that disobeyed God that day. So if the struggle of selfish ambition and vain conceit has been going on for millennia, how then are Christians to deny the selfish nature of the flesh to practice the message in this Scripture?
Paul’s message is to live a life completely opposite than what the world preaches to us. Rather than living in selfish ambition, choosing sin over righteousness, trampling anyone and everyone to get to the top, Paul instructs Christians to humble themselves, and to put the needs of others above their own. Our focus is not to be on ourselves or our own needs, but the needs of those around us.
So how can we humble ourselves in our day-to-day lives and make a transition in our mindsets to put others first? The first step is to not think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less. Spend time in the word of God and with Jesus. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more driven and inclined you will be to live a life similar to Him. Jesus is the perfect example of humility-going as far as dying on the Cross to put our needs, our salvation, above his own life. Make it a practice to put others above yourself. Start small and intentionally find ways to put the needs of others above your own each and every day.
Please help me to humble myself in your sight. Help me to think of myself less, and to put others above myself. Lord, let me spend time with you each and every day so that I can become more like you in your humility.
In Jesus’ Name,