- Key Verse
- Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3-5)
- READ THE CHAPTER
We can't be humble before others if we aren't humble before God. Humility results from believing in God and living out the gospel.
ReflectionsC.S. Lewis once defined humility as "not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less."
Tim Keller has called it "blessed self-forgetfulness." I rarely forget about myself daily. How am I doing? How am I feeling? How is someone treating me?
For a long time, I thought I was humble because I didn't vocally boast about myself. God, however, revealed that I was really just insecure about guilt and shame from my past that I hadn't dealt with. In turn, I manipulated situations for my benefit.
I mastered the ability of being passive aggressive in order to get attention. I used my emotions to throw a pity party, often to manipulate someone's perspective of me. It was all out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. I made my life all about me.
In Philippians 2:6-11, we see that there is no greater example of humility than what Christ did for us by becoming flesh and dying on the cross. He was not thinking about Himself; He was thinking about you and me. Until we receive the gift of salvation and allow His grace to transform us, we cannot come close to demonstrating humility in our lives.
Tim Keller writes, "Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves. To even ask the question, 'Am I humble?' is to not be so" (Christianity Today, "The Advent of Humility"). Humility isn't attained by checking a box or adding it to the to-do list every day. It is a result of believing in Him, meditating on His Word and imitating who He is.
Verse 3 begins, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" (Philippians 2:3, NIV). And verse five, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, NIV 1984). Paul then goes on to say, "Do everything without complaining or arguing" (Philippians 2:14, NIV 1984).
I love how Paul's words leave no room for interpretation when he says, "Do nothing," "the same," and "Do everything." It all starts with humility and blessed self-forgetfulness.
Discussion Questions1. In what ways are your thoughts, words, and actions motivated to win an argument, make sure your opinion is heard, or to seek the approval of man over God?
2. Go all day without complaining about your life -- your job, your kids, your spouse, your friends, your teachers, or your responsibilities. How did you do?
3. How is your attitude today? Is it the same as Christ Jesus'?
4. Look up more verses in Scripture on humility. Here are some to get you started: Proverbs 3:34, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 18:12, Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:12, James 3:13, James 4:10, 1 Peter 3:8.
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 13-17 (Philippians 1 - Colossians 1)
Read Philippians 2: 1-11.
• What does it mean to be selfish or to try to impress others?
• Why would those things go against what God would have you do?
• What, instead, does Paul say we should do? (verse 3 & 4)
• What would it look like in your own life to do those things?
• What did Christ do for you?
• How did He show humility?
• Is it easy for you to be humble, not seek everyone's approval, and to serve others above yourself?
Activity: At a family meeting, ask each person to identify someone to serve. For the person you identify, think about doing something that puts that person before yourself. Try to think of someone who cannot do anything for you in return!