3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
It isn’t something that we naturally excel in. The bible repeatedly instructs us to deny ourselves. It speaks of the natural man and the new man.
When we are born again, often we are proud and we cling to our (worldly?) ideas and bit by bit we are refined to become more Christ-like. This often painful process is necessary for our sanctification. Just as a child needs chastising, we too need our Heavenly Father’s correction and instruction.
These verses succinctly express the humility of our dear Saviour. In verse 3 we are told to think of others as more significant than we are. Mothers find this very easy to do with their own children but what about towards those that hurt their children?
I for one blew my top a number of years ago when a child deliberately hit my son. I could have done serious damage! The hatred on his little face infuriated me; how could he want to hurt my sweet boy?
Fast forward 12 years and a having had a lot of chips knocked of my tough heart, I can see the difference between my attitude and that of my heavenly Father.
If the boy who attacked my son was mine would I have been so angry? Probably not. I don’t know his story, but I am guessing it wasn’t a happy one…
Jesus came to earth for people like this boy… The broken, the lost, the sinners and who am I to say who is worthy?
We are called to imitate Christ, who condescended Himself to the point of death for sinners. We are completely unworthy of His favour and yet whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He saw what we are to become, He doesn’t leave us to remain in that sinful state but lifts us out of the ash heap and then graciously places our feet upon a rock.
To humble ourselves is to imitate Christ, pride brings us pain, He wants to bring freedom to us. That is why He came.