Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No need to flaunt, prove, or push

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Philippians 2:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:5-7

Nowadays the common wisdom is if we want people to buy our product, patronize our business, or read our writings, we must get noticed. Thousands give advice on how to establish our presence on the internet using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, and a myriad of other ways to generate buzz and business.

I wonder how Jesus would have handled all this. What would He have put on His Facebook update? What would He have tweeted? What would He have written on His blog? Would He even have been online?

I love what a sidebar article in my Bible says about Jesus' humility:

"Chrlstlike humility is manifested in the freedom of God's Son to affirm the fullness of all God has placed in Him, without needing to flaunt, prove or push it through self-advancement. Jesus' complete absence of any need to "clutch" for power or attention is manifest humility" - Fuchsia Pickett, "Christlikeness," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1662 (emphasis added).

Though media pundits do advise us to exhibit interest in others the underlying motivation is often selfish. The hope is that the attention will be reciprocated and we will get what we are after—something for ourselves.

There was no such self-service in Jesus' humility. He exchanged the role and status He had in heaven ("...made Himself nothing" - Philippians 2:7 NIV) and gave the ultimate (His life) in order to buy us back to God.

His humility did result in exaltation, though—an honor higher than any person could give, bestowed by God Himself (Philippians 2:9-11).

Our Bible commenter helps us understand how this call to be humble works for us:
"Just as Christ's humility received ultimate exaltation (Phil. 2:9-11), so our call to 'humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up' points to the way for the rise of God's highest purpose in each of us (James 4:10). Humbling ourselves opens us up to increased grace (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5), and childlikeness is the doorway to the dynamism of 'kingdom come' in our life and service (Matthew 18:4)" Fuchsia Pickett (source quoted above, emphasis added)

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your humility, shown when You relinquished all Your rights, even the right to live. Help me to begin to understand what true humility is and how to live it in 2012. Amen.

MORE: Humility quotes
"The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The great characteristic of a saint is humility—Yes all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 22nd reading.

"The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jesus Christ." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 3 reading.

"Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves” - Tim Keller (quoted by John Piper in "The Shy Virtue of Christmas."

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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