A Passage and A Prayer 2/20/19

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

God’s call for us is to be humble. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.” It’s a tall order to be humble, and something that is not entirely comfortable for us selfish and self-absorbed people. Babies yell and scream to get others to know what they need- and it is good, because we need to know what they need. We learn to share what we want and need in more healthy ways as we grow older. But we have been trained by our culture to continue to be selfish. “Have it your way,” fast food chains tell us. Buy whatever you want. Be controlled by your wants and desires.

But we want more from life than just food and clothing. We want more from life than just to have things our way. We want to have loving relationships and accomplish meaningful work. This is done by being humble. We count others to more significant than ourselves. We look to the needs of others. We seek to fulfill the needs of others.

How do we do that? When do we do it? When in the midst of conversations, pay attention to how you feel and react when someone shares what they need. Especially if someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. How do you feel when asked to do something you don’t want to do? That is the feeling of being humble. That feeling confronts us, challenges us, overwhelms our wills. God is calling us to meet that feeling and come to terms with that feeling. God is calling us to embrace that feeling and learn to love being humble. God is inviting us to see other people as worthy of our strength and will. God is calling us to sacrifice our wills for the sake of others. And it is in that action that we embrace the humility of Jesus and open the door for the power of Jesus to be at work in us and through us.

Jesus, empower us to be humble. It is hard to sacrifice our will. It is hard to think about ourselves less. It is hard to seek the good of others first. But we know that You can work miracles. You can change our hearts and minds. Give us Your Spirit, that we might model a life of humble love in a world obsessed with power, privilege, and prestige. In Your name, AMEN.

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