If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affections) and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man of his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but not much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as the lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
Paul had a lot to say in these sixteen verses, but I want to concentrate on humility today. In verse 5, Paul tells us to have the same mind of Christ, and then goes on for several more verses to tell us exactly how Christ humbled Himself…even to the point where He died for our sins. Jesus left the glory of Heaven and became lower than the angels so that we could be reunited with Him and our Heavenly Father. He didn’t have to do that – He chose to do that for all of us, even those who continue to reject Him. So, when Paul tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus”, he is telling us that we need to humble ourselves. Let go of the pride of who you are and the pride in your accomplishments; instead, give God all the glory for making you who you are,and giving you the talents and abilities to accomplish all that you do. Paul himself was in line to become a member of the elite Sanhedrin, but gave up everything to follow Jesus and to spend the rest of his life suffering for his faith, working diligently to write and teach, exhorting others on how to live their lives for God.
Proverbs 11:2 tells us, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” And most of us know Proverbs 16:18, which says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride causes us to lift ourselves up to a position above others that we do not deserve. We should always be thankful when successes come, because God has shown us His favor, rather than glorifying ourselves for them. Yes, we work hard to accomplish things in this world, and I’m not trying to take away from anyone’s efforts. But we need to realize that without the grace of God, you nor I would have the mind nor the body to be able to accomplish many things. Humbly consider that others may have been born with disadvantages that prevent them from accomplishing the successes you find pride in. Or perhaps something has occurred in their lives where they can no longer accomplish what you are able to do. When we do that, we can realize that God plays a role in every success, and it is to Him that we should offer praise and glory. Remember what we are told in 1 Samuel 2:7, “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up.” It is all to the praise of our Father when we are successful, for it is He which gives us the abilities to accomplish all we do. Let us never forget that.
Pride should never be involved when we are dealing with others. The old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I” is very true; if we fail to humble ourselves and give God the glory for everything, we may one day find ourselves in a position to be the one looked down upon, and no one would want that to happen. Romans 12:16 says, “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” When we realize that it is God Who puts us in a position to accomplish successes in our lives, we can let go of the pride of life and humble ourselves, so that we don’t think of ourselves more highly than we should or as better than others, but rather highly blessed of God. Then we can open our hearts and minds to see others in need and help them to be successful in their own way as well. No one should be looked down upon because we all, but for the grace of God, could be in the same position.
In Micah 6:8, the question is asked, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God?” And in Psalms 25:8-9, we read, “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will He teach sinners in the way. The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.” Pride leads us away from the blessings of God. Pride in the things of this life take us away from God and His will, but when we live humbly and give Him the honor He is due, we will see His hand on our lives, and we are able to learn more about our Heavenly Father and His will for our lives.
In 1 Corinthians 1:28-29, we read, “And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh glory in His presence.” We were never meant to exalt ourselves above others. Everything in life, good or bad, is for God’s purpose, that His will be done, all for His glory and honor. When we lift ourselves up above others, God can and will find someone else to do what needs to be done, leaving us to suffer the downfall that comes from a heart filled with pride. We need to get out of our own way and humble ourselves so that God can lift us up and accomplish His purposes through us.
Proverbs 29:23 says, “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” And in James 4:10, we read, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” Rather than be filled with pride with our accomplishments and successes in life, we need to remain humble, knowing that it is God’s grace and mercy that puts us in a position where we can find such success. And when we are successful through His blessings, we need to give Him the praise and honor due Him, as well as show humility in our dealings with others. Psalm 115:1 reminds us, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.” And lest anyone should forget, Romans 14:11 says clearly, “For it is written, ‘As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Be thankful for all the blessings from God, rather they come through the ability to work hard and succeed, to be financially secure, or any other accomplishment in this life. Humble yourselves, and let God lift you up! And let us always give praise to the One who made us and gave us these abilities, for He is worthy of all praise, glory, and honor; now and forever.
Grace and blessings on your path,
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