Saturday, December 18, 2010

Contentment Day 5: Considering Others (Hyu-mi-le-te)

Philippians 2:3-4
"...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 other.  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..."

Yesterday we took a look at the Messiah complex, and the dangers of conceit which robs us of our ability to love and serve and strips us of our contentment.  The thing is, it doesn't end there.  Once we are free of conceit we are able to move into the next step of contentment: considering others.

Paul takes it one step further as he talks to the church in Philippi about joy and contentment.  He challenges them to put some walk to their talk by not just saying they are selfless- but by showing it.  The thing about true humility is that it is only proved in a persons life by their actions.  You can't proclaim that you are a humble person.  That doesn't work.  In fact, the ironic thing about humility is that by proclaiming it, you are acting out the very antithesis of humility.  *"One of the hardest things in the world is to stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother"

And Paul calls us to do just that.  To live a life of love, service, and compassion as we exist with those around us.  Considering others.  In my opinion, this is the fifth step to contentment. 

There is truly something about considering the needs of others that draws us miraculously outside of ourselves.  There is something freeing about stepping out of our selfishness and stepping into the role of a servant.  Just like our Lord, who made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant...just for the sake of love.  *"When Jesus came in the form of a servant, He was not disguising who God is....He was REVEALING Him...."

And this is what we are called to do.  To reveal God to the world around us. 

Paul is calling us to this kind of life because he knows that it is only through service that we will truly find the way to contentment.  Only by stepping out of ourselves will we be able to find the joy that we were looking for.  *"The reason we help others is not because we are strong and they need us; it is because if we don't help them, we will end up a hopeless relic".  We will end up selfish, cold-hearted, and blind to those around us.  Spiritually, we will end up dead. 

May God give us the strength to take our eyes off of ourselves for just a second, and look around to the needs of those around us.  May He free us from the addictions of self and usher us into the humility of our Lord.  

*Appropriate Smallness: The Practice of Servanthood.  The Life You've Always Wanted, by John Ortberg.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love to hear your thoughts...