“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.” – Philippians 2:3–5
Human interaction is grueling! It can be unpleasant, exhausting, and time-consuming. There . . . I’ve said it. It causes you to think twice before delving into the complications and messiness of someone’s life outside of quick superficial platitudes.
During the tough months of isolation of the pandemic, I believe that many of us were tremendously changed. We were forced to manage life alone or strictly with our household. We could not attend our churches, have fellowship or corporate prayer time, or even serve one another.
After months and months of a self-centered focus, a strange thing happens when you are suddenly thrust back into community. Humility and compassion disappear.
I found myself repeatedly becoming very angry in my interactions with people—in their selfish attitudes, their self-focus, and their inability to regulate their behavior. In my frustration, I felt this pull to retreat back into the comfort and solitude of my own home.
When I took the journey inward, I found a tree with deep roots that had begun to bear the fruit of bitterness, impatience, and distrust. It was an eye opening revelation.
I prayed and asked the Lord to examine my tree and show me what I had cultivated during those months of isolation. It was a sobering prayer which left me weeping, down on my knees before Him for hours.
The Lord set this word in my heart: humility.
The Holy Spirit led me to read the Gospels and write down every single example of Christ’s humility. With each example that I wrote down, my heart began to be captivated once again by Jesus Christ.
Here is Jesus, God the Son, and yet, out of His great love for us, He chose to leave the majesty of heaven and come to earth as a human. He took the form of a servant and entered our messy world to serve our needs and to share our suffering. He endured ridicule and resistance while living a selfless, unprivileged life. He even chose to obey God the Father by enduring the suffering, the pain, and the embarrassment on the cross that was meant for me because of my sin.
To be a disciple of Jesus is an exercise in humility. A humble person recognizes and appreciates the impact of others on her life. Seeing someone’s deficiencies or flaws is not the time to make a numbered list of their faults or compare my qualities to theirs.
It is an opportunity to reframe my lens so that when I see them, I see Jesus. Instead of becoming critical, I became compassionate. Instead of becoming frustrated, I became empathetic.
We are most like Jesus when we are serving each other. We demonstrate our thankfulness to Him by willingly and humbly entering into the messy lives of others to serve their needs and share in their suffering. We experience great joy when we bring the reality of Jesus’ grace and love to the very ones who need it most.
Living a life of humility is not easy. I consistently have to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what it looks like to walk in humility, day by day, even moment by moment. God delights in giving His children His very own characteristics. As we seek Him for the gift of humility, He will give it to us.
When I fail at compassionate and humble responses to the people in my life, I quickly seek God. I confess my frustrations and anger. Sometimes this confession takes more time than anticipated, but I always ask Him to grace me with the opportunity to serve His people once again.
Thankfully, God sees me as a masterpiece even while I am a work in progress at the same time.
My prayer is that we all begin to emulate Jesus: ready and willing to lay our personal obligations, attitudes, and feelings aside for the higher call of loving people in Jesus’ name.
Peace and grace to you,
Week 2 Challenge:
Read Colossians 3:12–14. Focus on one or two characteristics from this passage to work on this week to help cultivate community in your life. How can you love and serve your family and friends better? Some ideas include: send a thank you card, call them, take them out for lunch, or send flowers.
Week 2 Reading Plan
Week 2 Memory Verse
Have you heard? Our next Bible study is available to order!
Join us for our next study, Not Made to Be Alone. This four-week study focuses on what it means to live in community and how we can cultivate biblical community in our lives. It’s not an easy thing, but together, as we study God’s heart for us, we can learn to live in community with those around us! We would love for you to join us!
Click the image below to find out more!
100% of the proceeds from your order go straight back to the ministry, helping us fight biblical illiteracy around the world and equip women with God’s Word in 40+ languages.
Thank YOU for your investment and support!
Read more about our mission and the languages we reach here.
More from Love God Greatly:
Every word that you have written here has touched me! I as well, felt the same emotions as you after the pandemic. Your words have encouraged me to look inward, and find the humility that our Lord wants me to have and share with others. Thank you so much!
Powerful words throughout this article. Thank you for the honest words to which we humanly relate to and for the words that challenge our hearts and minds to see others like Jesus sees them.
“It is an opportunity to reframe my lens so that when I see them, I see Jesus.” Amen.
God bless you!