Read Philippians 2:5 - 18
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5 NIV
Slowly read the description of Christ in verses 6 through 11. What stands out to you? Perhaps it is the reminder that Christ IS God or the reality of Jesus being made nothing. Maybe what you see in this passage is the obedience of Christ or the glory of His seat next to God in heaven. Or, is it the amazing promise that one day EVERY tongue will confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The beauty of this passage is evident in every word. A perfect confession of Christ’s deity, power, and sacrifice.
But what about verse five? A specific command about our lives – that our attitude should be like that of Christ. What is that attitude that is to be our own? Look at verse 7, “…he took the humble position of a slave…” (NLT, emphasis added). Humble, humility – generally not one of mankind’s stronger attributes.
The picture of humility offered in this passage is the word “servant”. In the Greek it is “doulos” – a bondservant. This is one who places himself in the will or interests of others. Did you catch that? “One who PLACES himself” … it’s a choice. Ponder that for a moment. Humility is a choice – it doesn’t come naturally to the vast majority of us. It’s hard. It requires effort. It demands sacrifice. So, you’re wondering, what in the world does this mean to me?
Basically, it means we are called to a life of humility. If we are to follow the example of Christ, a vital component of our lives must be that we are humble. Consider this simple contrast: “Do nothing from selfish ambition …” (Philippians 2:3a, NIV) and “but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant …” (Philippians 2:7a, NIV). Selfish ambition vs. servanthood. This is the inherent battle for all of us – flesh against spirit.
The goal for today is HUMILITY. Learning to place others ahead of ourselves and seeing that trait become deeply ingrained in our nature, as it was in the nature of Christ. Consider the following passages and how Christ is calling each of us to a life of humility and an attitude that honors and models Him. Reflect on these passages and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you specific areas in your life where you need to show humility.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is god, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true HUMILITY toward all men. Titus 3:2 NIV, emphasis added
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the HUMILITY that comes from wisdom. James 3:13 NIV, emphasis added
All of you, clothe yourselves with HUMILITY toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the HUMBLE. 1 Peter 5:5b NIV, emphasis added