by Pastor Mark Jordan
“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.” (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV)
This week we are looking at ways to seek God and deepen belief. The big idea for the week is to believe in God and his son, Jesus, because he has a place for you and wants you to know confidently that your life matters. As we consider some steps to seek God, one of the first things we need to do is learn about humility.
Authentic humility is hard. There is a great CS Lewis quote that says, True humility is not thinking less of yoursel; it is thinking of yourself less.” What we need to do is get our priorities in order. God wants us to love him with all we have and are, and to love our neighbors as we love self. This presupposes a healthy love of self, but cautions us against loving self so much there isn’t room for God or others. Humility pushes against our narcissistic tendencies, and shifts our outlook from looking out for self to seeking ways to bless others.
In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul wrote that we are to live not for selfish ambition, but in humility, looking out for the needs of others. The context for this passage is for Jesus followers to strive for the mind of Christ. Jesus lived a life of putting others before self, but he also maintained those healthy boundaries we all need where he took time for himself and spending time with God. Humility helps us see life like a 3-legged stool, where we think of ourself less, leaving necessary room for God and others.
Believing in God comes with an acknowledgement that you yourself are not God. Believing that means a reordering of your priorities. This doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. May this step help you deepen your belief in God as you recognize that he is God, and frankly, you are not.
Prayer: Dear God, I believe in you. Forgive me for the times I put myself first and don’t leave room for you and others. Help me to live without vanity or conceit. I ask this as I seek the mind of Christ; for it is in his name I pray. Amen.