An old friend used to say, “Have you heard about the book I wrote? It’s called, “The 10 Most Humble People and How I Trained the Other Nine.”
Obviously, that’s not true humility.
True humility is difficult to attain. The moment that you think, “Oh, that was a pretty humble response,” you have already been puffed up with pride. We can find examples in Moses and Hannah, in Mary and in Paul. But our ultimate example is in Christ:
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
When we put on this attitude of Christ Jesus, we find unity in the body. Brothers and sisters stop being self-centered; they stop trying to put on a Christian facade and start looking out for those around them. We see a tender, compassionate church that works together toward the same purpose. This kind of humility allows God’s people to practice obedience. How can one submit to authority if one is filled with all sorts of ideas of self importance? Why should I revere and fear God when I worship at the throne of self exaltation?
As members of the body, we cannot find unity with this kind of thinking. We set aside our complaints and arguments to live clean, innocent lives as children of God, “shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (verse 15). We can follow Timothy’s example and show genuine concern for God’s people and for what matters to Jesus, living out the Gospel. We can follow the example of Epaphroditus and endeavor to spread the Gospel, working to the point of death as a true brother or sister. And we can be encouraged and find comfort in the love of Christ and fellowship of the Body.
It’s good to know we are all in this together.