Thursday, January 24, 2008


In Philippians 2 we are reminded to be of the same mind as Jesus Christ. As the passage continues, we are reminded of the great humility displayed by Christ by, not only in His willingness to leave heaven and live for a short while as a man, but to have that life taken by the hands of His creation in the most brutal of methods. If we take pause, however, after that short phrase, “….let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”, we cannot help but to tremble at the thought.

I, for one, fail so often in this matter of humility that it’s depressing to even think about it. The idea of self-sacrifice and completely selfless living is often so foreign to me that I wonder if there’s anything other than selfishness coursing through me. Christ’s humility involved a measure of this selflessness and self-sacrifice that sinful man is unable to achieve, yet the Apostle cautions us to, “let this same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…”. Is it really possible? In this day and age I meet precious few people who are willing to put into practice some of the basic lessons that Christ taught us both in word and deed. Commands like, “love your enemy”, “turn the other cheek”, “bless those that curse you”, or even “love each other” – as in agape. I don’t mean to come across as if I display these things on a daily basis. I don’t even display proper love consistently to those whom I hold dearest in this world.

Sometimes the study of the Word will prompt one to ask oneself some difficult questions. Some questions I’ve faced recently during my study times have been:

  • How can I claim to be a follower of Christ when I consistently fall short in nearly everything He’s commanded?
  • How can I maintain a right relationship with my Lord when I bristle at the most petty of differences between myself and those whom I call my brothers and sisters in Christ?
I’ve been confronted with many more questions than these, but they are personal enough that I won’t share them here…

So why am I sharing this with you? Simply put, I’m beginning to grow tired of the mediocrity that typifies the lives of most Christians, but specifically, my own life. I sometimes wonder if I know the first thing about humility, sacrifice, and selflessness. I don’t know that I’ve ever been accused of “turning the other cheek” and of loving my enemies. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact. In some venues I’ve garnered a reputation that says I’m not a good man to cross…..I don’t think that’s the type of reputation that God would have one of His children possess. It's certainly not the example left by our Savior as He was "led as a lamb to slaughter".

In a couple of weeks I’m beginning a study with our adult Sunday School class on some of these things. We’ll be taking a 4 or 5 week look at some examples of humility from the life of Christ and drawing some practical lessons from them. I’ll be posting some of my notes here following each class.