Humility can be considered one of two things, based on your perspective: the weakness of humility or the power of humility. As we observe in Philippians 2:1-11 we see Pauls challenge to be humble. Paul shines the light on the greatest example of humility mankind has ever experienced: Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself to become a man and die on a cross. Paul then challenges us to not only follow in his footsteps but more importantly to follow in Jesus footsteps.
We have been hearing about Pauls journeys for quite awhile now as we have studied the book of Acts with Pastor Steve.
Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus.
Pauls name was changed from Saul.
Paul was arrested illegally in the Temple.
Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea.
Paul was shipped off to Rome for a proper trial.
Paul was shipwrecked on Malta.
Paul was under house arrest in Rome.
Paul addresses behaviors of selflessness, humility and regarding others as more important than ourself. These all seem to go hand in hand. Without humility, how will we ever be selfless and put others as more important than ourself? As we distill these three terms down, we can safely say that selflessness and regarding others as more important than ourself embodies humility. Paul doesnt just leave us with these great ideals but rather explains the sacrifice and example that Jesus was in this exact model. Jesus showed us this through His submission to the Father and His death on a cross. He is the perfect example to live by. Jesus sacrificed for the greater good of mankind. Its not as if Paul is saying this would be a good idea, but rather he is saying, look who you have to follow in the footsteps of: Jesus the Son of God who humbled Himself to become a man and be sacrificed on mans behalf, so all of mankind could be reconciled to God. This act of humility transformed all of eternity.
What is Humility?
Humility isnt just a one-time act. Its actually a lifestyle that you must choose to submit yourself to. Its not as though you do it once, and you now have a badge of honor that says Humility. Humility is part of the character of God. Its in many ways a downward choice, just as Jesus choice was to become a man. When He became a man, in all sense of reality it was a downgrade or a demotion. It was not just a sacrifice for us; it was a sacrifice for Him. He had to take His divinity and lay it aside. Many of us will be asked to take our pride and lay it aside.
Hebrews 12:2-3 says, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Why Should we want Humility?
Did Paul always live a life that was so humble? No. Actually he used to be called Saul before God renamed him Paul. Saul was a persecutor of Christians. What a beautiful example of a redeemed sinner and how God can take someone from the depths of sin and pride to the point of becoming such a humble servant.
Have you ever met a person that was humble that you did not highly respect? I havent! Even when they are secular people with a high humility factor, I have always respected them. When a person of humility leads you, you want to follow them. As a matter of fact you would almost do anything for them. Humility is a godly trait that I believe can be developed as each one of us walk in the Spirit.
The Bible says we were made in His image. Do you think that refers only to our physical appearance? The guy I was meeting with had a ton of insecurities and issues, but he saw me as a humble, confident man that he could only attribute to being raised in a safe and thriving environment. How wrong he was. What he was seeing in me came from the security of humbling myself day after day to the Lord and submitting myself to His purposes and plans.
How do we Become Humble?
Do we walk in humility by making decisions that first and foremost are beneficial to us? No! Some of the most honored and memorable people are people who followed Jesus example by choosing the path of humility. I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin, HUMILITY ASKS US TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR IMPERFECTIONS. IT REQUIRES THAT WE ADMIT WHEN WE ARE WRONG AND THEN CHANGE COURSE. Jesus led the disciples with humility. He did the unthinkable, at times, to be the servant leader that He was. Jesus washed the disciples feet (Jn 13:1-17) and challenged them to become all God gifted them to be all while humbly leading them. He wasnt trying to take the spotlight but more so was trying to push others into the spotlight. Humility will cause the spotlight to be on you, but it will be for all the right reasons. You wont be the one being highlighted, but rather Christ who dwells within you will be highlighted.
We have identified humility, why we should choose a humble heart, and how to walk in humility. What we must understand is that in Gods economy people are the number one resource and God is uncompromising. He will not relent on seeing His number one resource redeemed. We can expect that this will happen when we take hold of the power of humility and follow the structure of humility that Christ lived out for you and me to follow.