In today’s world, pride can be a big problem. Social media magnifies this common human weakness by encouraging all of us to post about our achievements for all to see. We are encouraged to work to gain the attention of others. We celebrate people who become known for their huge numbers of followers.
The Apostle Paul knew just how destructive pride could be. When left unchecked, it could lead to divisions in the church. So, he encouraged God’s people: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (v. 3). To illustrate this, he pointed his readers to the very best example they could follow. “In your relationships with one another,” Paul counseled, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (v. 5).
Jesus was fully God. But rather than exploit His rights as God, He humbled Himself by taking on a human nature (vv. 6–7). When He came into the world, He did not come as a king or a powerful military leader. Instead, He embodied “the very nature of a servant” (v. 7).
Even the way Jesus died was marked by humility. Crucifixion was not only a painful death, but a humiliating one. This was the worst part of the crucifixion sentence for the ancients. In an honor/shame culture, there was no greater shame than being publicly stripped and nailed to a cross on the side of the road. Yet, Jesus suffered all of this for us. This kind of humility, of putting others ahead of ourselves, is a model for us to follow.
>> How can you imitate the humility of Jesus? On the night He was betrayed, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet in an act of humility (John 13:2–4). In doing this, He set the example for how we should treat one another (John 13:15). Consider how you can have the mindset of Jesus today.
How can we have the mindset of Jesus today? Lord, forgive our pride and unforgiveness. Fill our hearts with love for those we call our neighbors and show us practical ways we can demonstrate Your love to others this week.