What does humility look like?

Sunday’s Scripture –June 14, 2020

Psalm 116: 1-2, 12-19, Philippians 2:1-13

Reflection

C.S. Lewis once said that “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

Perhaps he got this idea from Philippians 2: “Let each of you look not to your own interests. But to the interests of others.” (Phil 2:4)

Thinking less of ourselves is false humility. The problem with it is that we’re still thinking about ourselves. Instead, we need to get over ourselves.

Paul goes on in 2:5-11 to quote what was likely one of the earliest hymns of the church. It displays Jesus’s incarnation, death, and resurrection as the perfect example and ideal for humility.

What does humility look like? In a word: Jesus.

Jesus, who is himself God, willingly gave up heaven and started a descent. This descent went all the way from heaven to the cross. It doesn’t get any lower than that, but the result was nothing less than victory over sin and death.

It’s interesting to contrast Philippians 2:1-13 with the Tower of Babel from Genesis 11. At the Tower of Babel, they tried to ascend by making a tower that reached up to heaven. But, their grasping only resulted in destruction, scattering, and confusion. (Gen 2:8-9)

At the Tower of Babel, they tried to exalt themselves and make a name for themselves. (Gen 11:4). But in humbling himself at the cross, “God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.” (Phil 2:9)

We have a daily choice before us and the two are diabolically opposed:

Self-preoccupation or self-forgetfulness

The Tower of Babel or the Cross

Pride or humility

Ascent or descent

The Mind of Adam or the Mind of Christ.

The Mind of Adam is our default setting, but Christ has come to renew our minds and to give us His. So, Church, “let the same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5)

Questions

  1. It’s easier just to think less of ourselves than it is to think of ourselves less. Why is this so?
  2. What is one way you can “look to the interests of others today?
  3. Take a minute to contemplate the image of the Cross. (If we look at ourselves, that’s all the farther our gaze. But, if we look to Jesus, we’ll naturally start to pay attention to the needs of others.)

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