One of the core values of Hope Church is humility. We talk about it like this:
At the root of everything God is and does, and all that he calls us to do and be, is humility. Humility is the appropriate posture to take before God, one another, and an unbelieving world. Jesus humbled himself all the way from ruling in heaven to dying on a Roman cross. Pride, which is self-centeredness and self-righteousness, is therefore the fundamental betrayal of the way of life Jesus has given us. As a church, and as individuals, we will strive to maintain a consistent attitude of humility toward God, one another, other churches, and the unbelieving community we serve.
This is a high calling, to be sure. Who among us can live up to it?! We are naturally bent toward pride and self-centeredness, toward self-protection and self-aggrandizement. We have entire pages on the internet dedicated to ourselves. We tweet about ourselves. We post selfies and pray for likes. Social media hasn’t made us more self-centered, it has simply revealed the deep selfishness in each of us.
Although we have new ways of expressing it, pride is not a new problem. Paul pled with the Christians in Philippi to rid themselves of selfishness and pride. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This kind of humility could transform lives and communities. Imagine a family, a church, or a city where people truly value others above themselves. Wouldn’t you want to be part of a community like that?
This kind of community, soaked in humility, is what Jesus is building in his kingdom. Paul goes on to say:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
That is radical humility. Jesus did not consider himself above us. He did not put his own interests above ours. Instead, he humbled himself all the way to a criminal’s death on that tortuous cross. If Jesus has humbled himself so greatly, what right do we have to our pride and self-centeredness?
Consider how you can imitate the humility of Jesus today. Look at the people around you, and value them higher than yourself. Think about how you can meet their needs and look out for their interests. Do something practical today that will demonstrate the humility of Christ. And when you do, you will help create the kind of community Jesus is building.