If you have children, it can seem like it is not human nature to be humble. In fact, by nature, a young child appears very self-centered and their reaction always seems to be according to how something pleases them and not necessarily looking at the bigger picture. They don't have the maturity to think outside themselves and consider how other people may be affected. I learned that in some of the more recent brain research, that is one of the very things that makes our brain different from all animals; we are able to think about how someone else may be feeling or thinking about a situation. Obviously that is something that is developed with age and maturity considering the child who is self-focused, but isn't it wonderful that we can see how science supports the idea that we have the ability to exercise humility! Please look up Phillipians 2:1-11 and see how God wants us to use our ability to think beyond ourselves.
Don't you love how God puts so many gems in so few verses? There is so much here that I am focusing on these verses for a few days to take a look at humility. I just love the way Paul starts out with, "Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ..." Last week, I blogged about how God's mercy should bring us to a place where we show mercy to others; in a sense we are motivated by mercy. The same could be said about humility; we can have encouragement from being united with Christ and we can take comfort in His love which will empower us to be humble. Look at verses 3-4, "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." Tomorrow I will look at how Christ modeled that for us, but consider today how we could consider others better than ourselves.
One thing that I am noticing the more I study about justice, mercy, and humility is that they are all dependent on one another. If we are humble, we will be more likely to stand up for others in the fight for justice because we are considering other people. Mercy will use humility to remember that we received even much more mercy from God. God wants us to use the part of the brain that He fashioned for us to think about what the other person may be thinking and feeling. He wants us to consider the feelings and comfort of others first - something that can be such a struggle for me when I am tired! Praise God, we know that He gave us the ability to do it!
Where does God want you to practice humility with others?