“Do nothing out of vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
In the face of crisis and especially personal conflict, I find it all too easy to slip into a posture of greatness over others. It flies in the face of my pride to humble myself when the light’s on me. I want to win! But it’s not really a race now is it? Matthew tells us that “many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
God had something very unique in store for all of us to learn on humility. I find in moments of crisis and conflict the elements required to ignite the flame of defense and arrogance. It is easily sparked into a firestorm of pride that rips open the hearts of relationships and stomps out the substance and belief that in the humility of Christ, we find strength!
So, what does it look like then to shed the pride, grow in humility and still come out a winner? Well, it starts with knowing who I am in Christ and what He thinks of me — not what others think of me or what I think of me. My pride takes the focus from being on Him and places it directly upon me. So long as I’m looking to me to solve my crisis or conflict, responding through the lens of what I would do, then the crisis or conflict thickens. Every time I bring only myself to a conflict or crisis, I mess things up. It’s not until I surrender my pride to the power and strength of the Holy Spirit that lives inside me that I am able to stand in the midst of monumental crisis, astronomical conflict and humble myself in Christ, respond through Christ, lift high the Banner of Love and become one of the “least of these.”
God never intended for me to lose my backbone, to not stand for what is right. Instead He reminds us to “fight the good fight,” “win the prize,” “press on,” “consider it all joy when we face trials.” I have often associated considering others better than myself a sign of immense weakness as a man. After all, isn’t it important to drive the nicest car, have the coolest job, have the perfect marriage, have the best kids, wear the best clothes and eat all the most nutritional food? Aren’t these things badges of self-worth and pride? They certainly can be. But strip them all away and what is left?
In Christ, everything!
Lord Jesus, remind me that in You alone I find my worth and can indeed shed my pride! That though I feel like the least, in you I am the most! You ARE my everything!
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s might hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” I Peter 5:5-6
by: Mark Cruver