Lenten Reader | Day 37

He Humbled Himself

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
     Who, being in very nature God,
          did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
     rather, he made himself nothing
          by taking the very nature of a servant,
          being made in human likeness.
     And being found in appearance as a man,
          he humbled himself
          by becoming obedient to death—
               even death on a cross!                                                                                              

- Philippians 2:3-8
The book of Philippians is a letter written by Paul while he was in prison. Today we are looking at Philippians 2:3-8. Humility, relationships, and Jesus’ death on the cross are the main points of this scripture.

While visiting New York City on a family vacation, we attended Sunday morning worship services at a church where author, Tim Keller, was the minister. Our daughter had read his books and wanted go there. He spoke on this passage, and I wrote in my Bible this comment from his sermon: “Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of ourselves. It means thinking of ourselves less and God more.” I googled the quote and versions of it have been credited to C.S. Lewis and Rick Warren. I think it paints a clear picture of humility.
Valuing others above ourselves, looking to the interests of others, making ourselves nothing, and taking the very nature of a servant are not the typical words we hear in our daily lives. However, it is the attitude of Jesus and the reason we have the promise of Heaven. He considered our destiny when he carried the cross.

My husband and I taught 9th grade Sunday School class for many years. When speaking with a pastor about our classes, he said, “You always need to bring it back to the cross.” This Scripture is a good example of that. We are reminded that Jesus humbled himself to die on the cross so that we could have the gift of eternity.

In summary, we need an attitude adjustment in order to have the mindset of Jesus. We need to be less self-centered, more considerate, and serve more. We need to think of ourselves less and God more.

- Pam Frazier
Father, help me think about myself less and about you more. It isn’t easy, and I can’t do it on my own.