True Humility

Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is a bold statement.  The first part of this verse may not seem too unusual, because the Bible repeatedly warns us against selfishness, strife, and vanity.  However, the second part of the verse is truly profound, “consider others better than yourselves.”

On the surface, we tend to interpret this as meaning, “consider others before considering yourselves.”  In other words, “do for others, and then go ahead and do for yourselves.”  This is indeed a valid interpretation.  We should consider ourselves as secondary to others, just as Christ demonstrated when he washed the feet of the disciples.

However, when we consider the deeper application being taught here, we would do well to interpret these words as “consider others as being better than yourselves.  This is telling us to be truly humble and selfless.  We should each regard others as being better than ourselves.  I should truly believe that others are superior to me, because, in this life, they are.  We should think more highly of others than we do of ourselves.

Now, for the application:  When that guy cuts you off in traffic, do you get angry because he caused you some inconvenience, or because he unjustly took the place in front of you?  In this situation, we should have the lowliness of mind to think that justice was served.  That person is better than you, and he has rightly taken your place in line.  You should praise God because He has allowed you to glorify Him by serving others, as Christ served us.

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