As I have been reading through Philippians I have had cause to think about what it means to be truly humble. In chapter 2 we read these words about Jesus:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or 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. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Humility is not about putting yourself down so that others might praise you and lift you up. Neither is it about being a doormat and allowing people to walk all over you. But there is something in this passage about submission, the question is to who? Jesus as an equal part of the Trinity humbled himself in becoming human because of his love for and in the joint will of the Father and the Spirit. Because of what he did the Father glorified and honoured him. Jesus could humble himself fully in this healthy way because he was secure fully in who he was in the Father.
So similarly, we can serve others and look to the interests of others not by being a doormat, but because we also can be secure in our identity and who we are in the Father and now in Christ. We submit ourselves to serving the church and the world because we love God and that is what he has asked us to do. So do a heart check from time to time. What are your motives? Are they selfish, are they appeasing guilt? Or are you looking to the interests of others around you in a healthy way because you are fully secure in who you are in God? God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Grace and Peace - Garry