August 14, 2012
Today's Passage: Philippians 2
My name is Cindy Campion. I am the wife of Brian for 12 years and mother to Riley (8), Emerson (6), and Wyatt (3).
If you ever hear me speak, you might recognize my accent is not from around here. I am from Monticello, Arkansas. I went from living in a small town to a big city when I moved into the dorm at Baylor University. I didn't know a single person there. However, when I graduated, I had the most important relationship I could ever have -- one with the true and living God.
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)
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.
C.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.
1. 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!
August 14, 2012 07:53:45 AM
Alley neighbor, great devo! Encouraged & convicted this morn. Thank you!!
August 14, 2012 08:23:27 AM
"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" - OUCH! That one stings a little!! Very convicting passage, and very well written devo. Thanks, Cindy!
August 14, 2012 08:44:36 AM
Love it! Such great insight and vulnerability. Thanks for being such a great example of humility to others!
August 14, 2012 08:52:11 AM
Ah, my life's key verse (2:3-5) and the hardest thing in the world to live out on a daily basis. Ouch, your words (through His lens) seared my heart and once again, I lie exposed, realizing how very selfish I really am. If I didn't know Christ personally, I could really get depressed at this revelation. That's why I'm so thankful that I know the One who will deliver me from this stinkin' body. Thanks be to God through Jesus! (Romans 8:24-25) He has already done it. I love serving with you Cindy--you are a shot of joy every day, but especially today.
August 14, 2012 10:02:59 AM
What a marvelously transparent devo on humility, Cindy! (I was reminded of the story of the church who gave their pastor an award for being such a humble man--but then they had to take it away because he accepted it. *grin*) I was struck by how this chapter contained SO MANY principles for good relationships, both in the body of Christ, in the family, and in any organization: Be on the same page | Treat others as more important than you | Look out for others | Be humble like Jesus, willing to sacrifice | Don't grumble or complain. ...And some people think the Bible is hopelessly outdated and useless! Ha!
August 14, 2012 11:02:22 AM
Thank you, Cindy, for this fresh look at humility! Love the Tim Keller and C.S. Lewis quotes. Great job!
August 14, 2012 11:47:14 AM
Good Morning, Cindy. Thanks for your insightful oberservations on the topic of humility. You opened your own heart and life in a very real and sensitive way, and I appreciate that very much. I had some real issues growing up with FALSE humility, and some of what you experienced often played a part in my thinking too. My self-image was very low, and I did not get a lot of good feelings to balance it out with... so growing well and healthy was not really an option. Experiencing a personal relationship with Jesus when I was around 30 changed my life forever. I am truly thankful. But I am mindful that many think that a low self-esteem is the same thing as humility. It is in-fact... humility turned inside out. False Humility often incurs thinking terrible thoughts of yourself, and living with fear that people will either hurt you, or think the same thing about you. Saying humble things about yourself are often PLEAS that someone will disagree and say something nice about you instead. So if I say I can't do something well... someone would correct me by saying, "Of course you can. You do that very well." Therefore reinforcing a compliment into my huge pit of need. In essence I realized that I was thinking of myself constantly. True humility is SO FREE-ing. Letting go, and trusting that God is my Creator, and He deserves any credit from my life. I am not my own... I have been bought with a price... these are all the truths that run through my mind any more... and I am free. Thanks for sharing more helpful truths about this OFTEN mis-understood characteristic.© 2007-2013 Watermark Resources • www.watermark.org • built by innerecho