Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:3-11
It’s almost impossible to read this passage and ask myself "Do I love others MORE than myself?" "Do I look out the the interest of others or just my own interests?"
These are not easy questions. They are questions that cause us to look deep into the heart of our pride. And before you start thinking you don’t have a problem with pride may I remind you that even if a person has a "poor self image" she usually thinks about herself more than others.
If someone does not like themselves they still make sure they are fed, clothed and comfortable, right? If they are sick, they take care of themselves. If they are going through a tough time they call a friend for support and prayer. None of these are wrong, in fact they are things that are good to do for ourselves. But when self is all we think about then it has the risk of becoming pride.
Then I wondered..
What if I was going through a tough time and so was my friend? What if I called her to help me only to find she needed help? Would self be willing to die? Could I die to my needs in order to help her. Would I demand for my needs to come first? Am I willing to die to self and to my struggles so that I can help my friend?
What if she's not a friend? What if God sends someone into my life to help during a time that I am feeling rather helpless? Could I put my own needs aside to give to her? Could you? Would you?
But then, I kept thinking, "Christ emptied Himself." "He humbled Himself." If Jesus, being God, could do these things then doesn't He expect me also to empty myself and humbly serve others? And if His Spirit lives in me should I not submit and be obedient to the Spirit and allow Him to live and work through me? And should not the obedience to serve other be done regardless of what I am currently walking through.
Oh Jesus, I pray that you would show me how to be emptied of all of me and filled with your Spirit. Help me to die to self daily and lift others higher than myself. Jesus I so want to be like you, to serve you. In order to do that I know that I must humble myself before you and be willing to serve those you want me to serve. Help me to not get caught up in busyness and worldliness that keeps me from serving. Help me to remember that while on earth You came to serve and save the lost. Help me do the same with the same attitude.
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Leave me some joy...