Be Still Know
Philippians 2.5-7 NLT
‘You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.’
These amazing words form the beginning of what many people consider to be a First Century hymn. They beautifully express the fundamental truth that God’s desire is to turn our thinking upside down! Our natural inclination is to seek power, prestige and recognition but Jesus came to this earth and did precisely the opposite. And that, says Paul, is the attitude that the Philippians needed to have towards one another in the church. He wants to see them ditch all traces of arrogance and to consider others better than themselves. It’s all very challenging.
The humility of Jesus is truly astonishing. He, above everyone else, was entitled to have power and influence and to enjoy a life of ease and comfort but he gladly accepted the opposite. He was willing to endure the ultimate powerlessness of being hung upon a cross and to experience the agony of rejection by his own people and even by his Father. The outcome of his humility was that God exalted Jesus to the highest place of all and gave him the name above every name. Truly Jesus turns all our thinking about life on its head. And that is now the approach to life that Paul encourages his friends in Philippi to adopt. The only way to be blessed by God is to learn what it means to be truly humble.
So how are we going to grow in humility, since everything depends upon it? Probably the most important fact is that we cannot become more humble by our own efforts. There is nothing more sickening than someone who, like Dickens’ character Uriah Heap, manufactures an artificial pretence of being “everso ‘umble”. Humility results from us getting closer to God and allowing his Holy Spirit to do deep work on our character. The grace of humility will grow unselfconsciously and gradually as we come to love God. As we get to know God better we will find, miraculously, that we are starting to have the very same attitude as Jesus.
QUESTION: Whose example of humility do you find most inspiring?
PRAYER: Loving God, thank you that by your Spirit you are helping me day by day to have the same attitudes as Jesus. Amen
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