Summary: The Final week of our Believe series looks at Humility

Believe 30: Humility

Philippians 2

June 14, 2015

Have you ever had to deal with parents who are nonstop braggers about their kids.

They tell you the child potty trained themselves at 6 months old.

They slept through the night after the first night home.

They are in the advanced nursery school class.

They speak 5 languages before they’re 5 years old.

You know what I mean? It drives you crazy. We used to send out Christmas letters and when Joshua and Zachary were 4 and 6 years old, Debbie gave me permission to send out a spoof letter. I wrote about how Joshua won the Nobel Prize. Zachary found the cure for colds. Of course, I ended by telling people it’s just a joke, but Merry Christmas, anyways.

Today is the last week of our Believe series and our final topic is a look at humility! Obviously, people who are braggards, don’t practice humility. It’s one thing to talk about yourself or your kids and tell what they’ve accomplished, but it’s another to always throw it in someone else’s face.

Paul Powell once said ~ “Pride is so subtle that if we aren’t careful we’ll be proud of our humility. When this happens our goodness becomes badness. Our virtues become vices.”

Our great example is Jesus. Jesus came into this world from the place of perfection ... heaven. Let’s look at our key passage, from Philippians 2. Paul wrote ~

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Paul was trying to help the Philippian church be of the same heart and mind when it came to Jesus. Paul tells us that instead of having selfish ambition, Christ emptied Himself.

Instead of coming as a King, Christ emptied Himself of His divinity and took the form of a servant. How many kings become servants?

Jesus didn’t consider His equality with God selfishly, just as the Philippians in humility were to "consider" the needs of others ahead of their own.

All of this is for the glory of God over and against the empty glory of selfish ambition.

So, as Paul said in verses 3-4 ~

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

How well do we do that? Are we focused only on our wants? Are we looking at others and deciding we are too good to help them? Paul wanted to make sure the Philippians didn’t have that mindset. It’s true for us as well.

We are not to be selfish, we are not to be so full of ourselves or so full of our kids, but we are to value others more than ourselves. Paul continues with that thought, we can and should attend to our own interests. BUT, we are not so focused on ourselves that we can’t see another person’s need. So, we practice humility.

According to the Greek, humility means ~

having a humble opinion of oneself;

a deep sense of one's moral littleness;

modesty, lowliness of mind.

I am really intrigued by the middle definition — have a deep sense of our moral littleness. Picture that! We don’t think so highly of ourselves because we realize the vastness of the world. We’re able to say we’re one cog in the wheel.

It’s the humility of Cal Ripken Jr. which attracted so much fanfare for his accomplishments in baseball. Ripken played in an astounding 2,362 consecutive games. That means he didn’t miss a game for 17 years. That’s an unheard of record and accomplishment.

After he retired, he was interviewed and was asked “what was your greatest accomplishment?”

Ripken said — “I caught the last out of the World Series.”

When asked why? He said, “It wasn’t a great catch — I didn’t dive, I didn’t do a cartwheel and throw the guy out at first base. People’s mouths didn’t drop open on the play. We all want to be part of something bigger. We all have our little jobs that we have to do as a member of a team. Everybody has their individual responsibilities, but they all have to come together for a main goal. . . So the most fulfilling moment I could ever have was catching the last out of the World Series — knowing we did it! Our team won!”

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