Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I was reading at the gym this morning and my eyes fell onto Philippians 2:3. For some reason I had to read this verse over and over. I've read this verse before but this time it radiated like a pulsing neon sign.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
But Paul, my friend and homie, don't you know me? I'm intrinsically selfish! We all are. I don't make up the rules, I just play by them. If I don't think of myself in this dog-eat-dog world, who will? If I don't push to the front of life, I'll be trampled and left in the dust. Therefore, my wise friend, on this one, I think you're wrong.
I climbed off the elliptical machine and walked to spin class where I had reserved my bike before anyone else could. Ouch! Was I just selfish?
While finishing my reading this morning at home, the following verses indicated why we should esteem others better than ourselves and who we should emulate. It says nothing about being humble because it's-a-good-thing-to-do or this-is-the-golden-rule-of-human-interaction. No, it boils down plainly to Jesus Christ and His example of true humility. Some of the words I circled in reference to our attitude in verses 7-8 are nothing, servant, human, humbled, and obedient. How many of those descriptions fits my daily behavior? Uh, I'll get back to you on that one.
Don't get me wrong. I hold the door open for people, smile at strangers, give my change to homeless people with witty signs, but Paul encourages us to do nothing if there is an ulterior motive or conceit in actions. Taking this point and inversing the implications, we could read this scripture like this:
Do everything out of humility and earnest actions with no ulterior motives because we are all the same. No one is better than you.
I think this learning was illuminated for more than just me, so I share this with you. Walk with love, talk with love, teach with love, and preach with love. Our example is Jesus Christ.