Finding Joy in Humility

 You can find joy by focusing more on Jesus and less on yourself.

Humility is not something that we do well. Often, even our humility is done in order to make people think more highly of us: we desire recognition and to have ourselves lifted up above everyone else. The problem is, this kind of attitude makes it impossible to have lasting unity as the Church. Fortunately, Jesus has given us the ultimate example of humility, and because of him we have hope of great things in the future for which we can be joyful. Additionally, when we learn to humble ourselves to Jesus, we can begin to put him first rather than ourselves.

This whole series through the book of Philippians in the Bible has focused on the fact that When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation. This principle doesn't change here either.

Text to read: Philippians 2:1-11 NLT

Paul points out that unity in the Church is of special importance. In fact, in our first week, we talked about finding joy in a true and healthy Christian community! The problem is, if the most important thing to each of us is ourselves and looking good and feeling good and being better than others and being recognized for being good, eventually something will happen that goes against those things and our unity will break down. This is why humility is so important!

Jesus calls you to true humility.

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

Humility is a huge biblical principle. Time and time again, Jesus said we have to be less to be greater, last to be first, and have to die to ourselves to live for Christ.

Remember what we've said is necessary for joy over and over again: less of yourself and more of Jesus. This means you've got to humble yourself first to Christ and second to others!

Too often, you make your humility all about you.

This is false humility. It is filtered through how others will perceive you. You don't want to seem prideful, so you deflect complements and give heartless platitudes that give others credit without being genuine.

Your humility probably--unconsciously or otherwise--focuses on the questions: "What can I get out of this," and "How will this impact how people see me?"

I won a medal for being the most humble man. They took it away a day later ‘cause I wore it.
— Unknown

Jesus gave the world's single greatest example of humility and in so doing, the world's single greatest hope.

God becoming human is the biggest act of humility possible. And he didn't just become any kind of human: he was born to a carpenter's family, in the backwater community of Galilee (a future disciple would remark, "can anything good come out of Galilee?"), in the smallest country, under another nation's rule. He could have come as a ruler, but came as a servant.

Through this act of humility, Jesus took our sin (rebellion against God and missing the mark on what we were made to be) on himself and provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sin and reunited in a life-giving relationship with God.

There's no need to try to get ahead of others in life, because everyone has been made equal through Jesus.

In the end, Jesus will return and everyone will recognize that he is Lord and will bow the knee to him. The question is, will you be there in fear and trembling as an enemy combatant, or will you be there in awe and wonder as you are ushered in as a son or daughter of God?

Action Step:

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one way you can be humble; do it, and keep it a secret!

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