"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves."
Philippians 2:3 (NRSV)
Prodigal Thoughts: We have a choice, don’t we? In this verse, we are given two options. We can be proud (in a selfish, conceited way) or we can be humble. Being proud of an accomplishment or something positive that you have been working towards is not what is being referenced here. It is when someone just won’t stop talking about themselves, to the point where you just want to use some noise cancelling headphones or earplugs. Have you encountered someone like this? I know I have had my fair share of those that are just "full of themselves." When someone is conceited and prideful, I don’t usually think of wanting to be around that person a whole lot. Now consider one who is a humble person. To me, that is so much more soothing and peaceful. This concept is something that I have been trying to teach my children. Hopefully one day, this difference will make sense. (Yes, they get these posts too, so they are holding me accountable as well.) Something that I heard a while back was an acronym that will help with keeping ourselves and our attitudes in perspective. How should we consider the priority of our thoughts and actions? J.O.Y. Jesus (first) – Others (second) – Yourself (last). If each follower of Jesus does this, then each person will be treated with the love, peace, and grace of God. Each person is respected. Then, perhaps, the unbelievers in the world would see the true heart of God. If you turn on the news or cruise through social media sites, many evangelicals seem to be aggressively focused on how their "rights and freedoms" are infringed upon or how their specific beliefs are being trampled on, yet all the while those around them are not being respected for their differences and their rights, freedoms, and beliefs are being disregarded and disrespected. I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that all of humankind needs Jesus. I know for a fact that I don’t have my life all together. There are things I still struggle with in life. That is exactly why I need Jesus, because I can’t fix me. God knows I’ve tried to fix myself, but an imperfect person cannot "fix" anything to perfection. Maybe if we "regard others as better than [ourselves]", we might have a better understanding of the love of God.
Prayer for today: I pray that we would each see that we desperately need Jesus. That we would be reminded of where God found us and how far He has brought us from that point. I pray that the humility we reached when we surrendered to God would become a daily posture and so overwhelm us and that we would understand just how much He desires to work through the brokeness of our lives to reach the broken people around us. May we be so bold that we would be so accepting of surrender.
If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.
God’s grace on you…