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 (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV84).
I thrive on structure. Having a schedule and being able to stick to it makes my day. I tend to be more productive when things are well planned and I can quickly move from one task to another.
Cue the interruptions! They always seem to come, don’t they? The washing machine stops running. The printer runs out of ink. The toilet backs up. Traffic slows to a halt. The register at the checkout line breaks down just as I get there. Someone asks me to help them do something I wasn’t expecting to do. This is where I get into a lot of trouble. I can go from being content and happy to irritable and grouchy quicker than you can say, “The dog did what?!”
The pleasant smile that began my day quickly turns into a scowl, complete with snappy remarks making sure everyone within earshot knows I am not a happy camper. Pity those in my path. I don’t even want to be around me.
SELF. Me. Ugh! Here I am again. Thinking of myself and my schedule before anyone and everyone else. Placing myself on the pedestal of my life. Self-importance. Self-pity. Self-pursuit.
Lord, am I ever going to get this right?
My eyes fall on the humble nativity scene on my living room chest, each well-worn character carefully placed just so he or she can gaze upon the little baby Jesus.
Humble. Humble. The word rolls around in my mind.
Jesus—the picture of humility.
Humility. This is what I’m lacking, isn’t it? Show me, Lord…
Philippians 2:5-8: 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.
This Scripture describes Jesus from the cradle to the cross…
- He was in very nature God and chose to denounce His rights as God.
- He was in the highest position and chose to make Himself nothing.
- He was the ruler and chose to be a servant.
- He was in holy heaven and chose to leave it for a sin-wrecked world.
- He came to earth as a human baby to a poor family.
- He grew up into a man on this earth.
- He humbled Himself.
- He was obedient to God His Father.
- He gave up everything for the whole world…that bittersweet sacrifice of love…on a cross.
Christ Jesus is our example. What a perfect picture of self-sacrifice and love! I am captured by His humility and self-denial. And it puts me to shame.
Philippians 2:3-4 says: 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.
Just as Christ did, I must humbly put others before myself and show them love by my attitude, words and action. And when those inevitable “unexpected” interruptions come in my day, I need to see them as opportunities to serve others, deny self, and honor God.
A humble heart is an obedient heart.
Every time I gaze upon that sweet little Baby in the lowly manger, I should simply stop and stare in wonder.
HE is humility. HE is love. HE is sacrifice. HE is my example.
Most gracious Father, forgive me for my self-centered sin—for all the times I’ve put myself before You and before others. Keep this picture of Christ ever before me—in my mind, in my path, in my sight. May I, like Jesus, so humble myself that I am willing to give up everything for Your purpose and Your glory. May my heart be captured with Your love that overflows to everyone around me, that I might be a reflection of the One for whom we celebrate this season. Fill me with child-like wonder and make me ever watchful, to see the glory—Your glory—this Christmas! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Nativity Photo: By Sabra Penley