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. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…
Philippians 2:3-5 (NIV)
Oh, how our world longs for people of humility! And, if we really want to experience Perfect Peace, it’s vital that we follow Jesus’ humility on our path.
The opening sentence of our key verse is one more time (among many!) when the Bible is pretty emphatic about what it asks of us. We like to water things down and ease the ask; Jesus calls for full commitment. We like to have things fit comfortably into our lifestyle; Jesus calls for selfless sacrifice. We don’t want anything to exceed our ability to do it in our own power or strength; Jesus makes it clear we will have to rely on the power of God’s Spirit.
So, we should not be surprised when Paul, the imprisoned writer of this letter to the church in Philippi, insists that they do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. It’s not a much softer “try to not be selfish or conceited” message; it’s a call to a much higher form of other-centered living. The example Paul calls us to imitate is not some good person among us – it is none other than Jesus. We need to fully embrace Jesus’ mindset – not just keeping Him “in our heart”, but releasing Him to impact every aspect of our relationship with each other.
When we follow Jesus’ humility, we will experience much more of the Perfect Peace He wants us to experience (and sacrificed so much for us to experience) with God, within, and with each other. We will experience much more of this kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” that He envisioned, and we will be in a much better position to extend such a kingdom to others.
This is the first in the “Follow Jesus’ Humility” series of blog posts.