It Is All About a Choice

CHOICESI 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.

A Humble Confession.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”. C.S. Lewis.

HUMILITYPaul in the book of Philippians helps us to explore what true biblical humility looks like. Paul’s prayer for the people at Philippi is that their “love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (1:9). This prayer is something that I pray God will do in my own journey through understanding his design of humility in my life and in the lives of those who I have influence.

“He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (2:8). Here is the ultimate definition of being humility, an act that was not of selfish ambition but a heroic moment in time that put all of us ahead of himself. This act of love and compassion demonstrates for us the role we have to fulfill as we seek to be like Him, our lives should be lived humbly not expecting but having faith in His promises. In a world filled with selfish and proud people we get trapped by the influences of self-interest and often put our own needs before the needs of others. Our instruction from scripture calls us “to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (2:3).

I will level with you right now, I fail in this area, and the harsh reality of the truth is I will continue to do it. I am thankful that I live for a forgiving God, when I come before Him humbly asking for forgiveness He has promised to wipe the slate clean and let me start over again. This is not an excuse to continue doing what I do but an opportunity to grow in faith and understanding so I one day will be pure and blameless in his presence. Over the next few weeks as I reflect on scripture it is my hope and prayer that God will teach me to live a life in humility worthy of Him.