“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 NIV)
Humility is the absence of pride.
For me, humility is remembering Christ died for everyone. More importantly, that one person you can’t stand, He died for them too. When we view the world through the lens of Jesus, it changes how we react to people. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was to pay for the sins of the world. Those sins include mine and yours. Even the tiniest of lies for the best of reasons is sin, according to God’s word. None of us are above the law, only Jesus.
Value others through Jesus’ eyes.
Pray this simple prayer: “Jesus, let me see them as You see them.” Start picturing what you think Jesus would do. My favorite is the woman caught in adultery, dragged naked before Jesus. Gently, Jesus kneels to the ground and starts writing. One by one, the crowd disburses until all are gone. When He stands, He forgives her and tells her to sin no more (John 8:1-11 NIV). The reason I love this story, I imagine Jesus writing the sins of those around Him in the dirt, ones I’m sure I’ve committed. That thought humbles me as it identifies my pride.
Pride and humility can’t coexist. No matter who you are, the ego is something we all battle. Arrogance isn’t only for the wealthy. Human condition means we naturally value ourselves over others. When offended, my first reaction isn’t love; I want them to pay for the hurt. But that’s not what Jesus wants for me. He wants me to follow His actions:
“When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer.” (Matthew 27:12 NIV)
When falsely accused, Jesus said nothing. He’s teaching me to do the same. Most people don’t intend to cause us harm. Instead, they are making the best decisions they can in their circumstances. We never know what is going on in someone else’s world, but God does. That’s why praying will reveal answers. God knows what is best for each one of us.
In college, my calculus professor taught me a lesson I haven’t forgotten. I was trying to talk my way into a passing grade. His response still rings in my head: “Sometimes you need a pat on the back, sometimes a kick in the butt. You need a kick in the butt.” Yep, I sure did. Failing his class was the kick in the butt I needed to turn my life around.
Value others through Jesus’ eyes. Start by praying for them. He’ll show you the rest.
Question of the Day:
Who can you value in prayer today?
Further Reading: Isaiah 60:1-62:5 NIV, Philippians 1:27-2:18 NIV, Psalm 72 NIV, Proverbs 24:11-12 NIV