He Humbled Himself

“He Humbled Himself”
Philippians 2:8
 
We, as human beings, like to compare. I grew up in St. Louis, and one of the (apparently) unique characteristics
of St. Louis residents is to ask one another which high school they went to. I had a few friends who were discussing why
this question was asked so routinely. While part of the reason might be to discover mutual friends or acquaintances, the
people in the discussion were pretty open about their real motives. It was a clue to social standing! Did the person live in a
poor area or a wealthy one? Finding out which school a stranger went to was a tactful way to discover the person’s likely
socio-economic status.

Even preachers aren’t immune to this. If two preachers meet for the first time, it won’t be long before they are
discussing sizes of congregations. We all have such a deep impulse to compare and see how we measure up. Are we
successful enough, attractive enough, smart enough, good enough? If you doubt this urge, take a look at some random
social media pages. We tend to feature our best pictures, our smiling children, and adorable pets. We proudly label our
occupation in the most impressive terminology we can.
 
This constant posturing and ranking can exhaust us. Keeping up the front uses so much of our energy. But Jesus
shows us another way. He exemplified humility and encourages us to be humble as well. Sometimes we think of humility
as thinking we are no good. We beat ourselves up and deflect any compliments, citing how bad we really are. Sometimes
we can actually try to impress people with how humble we are! Jesus, though, showed us that true humility isn’t falsely
hiding our successes and gifts or thinking ourselves as worthless, but rather it means we step away from the rat race of
comparison and find our self-worth in God alone. What the world thinks ceases to matter because we live for an audience
of one.