I imagine that just as I had written in my previous entry that when many of us look to scripture for guidance in the area of Humility we either do an online search, grab a concordance and find ourselves being directed to the passage in Philippians chapter 2, a place where in my bible is titled “Imitating Christ’s Humility”. This is a great place to start, this passage paints the picture of the perfect and most powerful example of humility.
Another great example of humility is found within the book of Philippians chapter 1; our example comes in the form of a choice. The choice is one of life or death. Paul, knowing that his physical death, his escape from the pain and suffering in this world and a new life with Christ is far better than persevering through his struggles is second to his ministry to the people of Philippi. Paul in his situation puts his own desires aside so that he can continue his ministry to the Philippians, “but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body… I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.” Paul is certain that if he continues on through his suffering He will be able to reach more people with the gospel message. This is the fruitful labor Paul talks about in verse 22, for Paul this is a labor of love that comes from a humble servant heart that reflects the love of Christ in his own life.
I can’t imagine living in the conditions that surrounded Paul’s life in that time, his attitude, his courage and his faith are commendable. In our “civilized” world today or at least in this part of the world we are privileged and tend to live comfortably, often our choices tend to fulfill our own desires first at the expense of others. Practicing humility in our lives is difficult; I believe it is a process that includes first bringing a humble a desiring heart before the Lord asking for his guidance and direction. Second it is learning and practicing the attitude and action of a servant heart. Easily written, perhaps hard to read, and for many of us challenging to put into practice. Today I am encouraged by Paul’s choice to stay grounded in the faith with a humble heart and his perseverance in pain, suffering and persecution for the glory of God.