Each year, our church family puts on a Christmas pageant, composed of Scripture and a few poems and hymns. It’s not really Christmas until we start practicing for the pageant!
It’s always a time of warm fellowship and joyful, reverent recollection of the beginning of the earthly ministry of our Lord.
One of the texts is Philippians 2:6-8. This passage speaks of the humility of Christ, Who was equal with God, and yet laid aside His rightful reign and became a servant, obeying unto death on the cross.
Studying these verses got me thinking about humility. This lowliness, this lack of regard for self, is radically different than much of what masquerades as humility in my own life.
As new creatures in Christ, we are called to put on humbleness of mind. (see Col. 3:12, Eph. 4:2, Phil 2:3)
But what exactly is it?
I suppose you could define humility as not thinking about yourself. Problem is, you really don’t get anywhere by “thinking about not thinking about yourself.” Any attempt at humility that seeks to create a lack of focus on self, while relying upon the power of self, will go belly-side up. The true humility of a Christian is a focus on Jesus Christ that leads to lack of focus on self. Let me put it in a word picture.
Have you ever been so caught up in a project that you lost track of time?
It’s not that you were thinking, “I will lose track of time, I will lose track of time, I will lose track of time.”
You simply became so engrossed with the project that time was no longer important to you.
That’s how the Christ-follower’s humility comes about. We are to become so absorbed in Jesus Christ and the excelling glory that He is, that we “lose track” of self. Subconsciously, our own conditions and ambitions become no longer important to us.
If Jesus Christ, powerful and perfect, was lowly in heart, how much more ought we, weak and sinful, be humble?
And if Jesus Christ, the God of the Universe in human flesh, willingly made Himself of no reputation, how much more ought we, a vapor in the wind, be heedless of the opinion of other mortals, and willingly forgo our rank in the eyes of men?
In light of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we come to a creed of aspiration:
I desire not, neither do I toil, to construct a great name for myself.
Rather, I hunger and labor to secure a glorious reputation for my King Jesus, by His light and life cascading through my surrendered self, and by proclaiming His riches in my every word and deed.