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FAITH: What truly humility looks like in the life of a believer

Brad McKenzie

‘If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ‘ Philippians 2:1-11

Throughout my life, I have come back to this wonderful passage to remind me, convict me, and inspire me!  It has become popular in the past several years to promote phrases like, “Be Kind,” “Be a Good Human,” and anything to do with love.  Although I would support any of those life mottos, I do not believe we have within us the capacity to truly be anything that is good or positive without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through a Christ-centered life.

Paul explains in this power ballad of praise the exemplary humility of Jesus Christ.  He says we are to have the mind of Christ.  This connects to the command he gives in Romans 12 where he tells us we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind.  What is extremely helpful here is Paul goes on to explain what it means to have the mind of Christ and what truly humility looks like in the life of a believer.

The life instruction and ethic given specifically to the church in Philippi is one congruent with Paul’s Christian message.  The church is to exist in one accord through having the same mindset, worldview, living in humility, and above all love up, in and out.  One of the main aspects of love is being less interested in self and more interested in what others need in their life.  Yet, I must remind all of us humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of self in the proper perspective.

So back to being kind, a good human, and loving everyone.  How does having the mind of Christ inform us of how we are to live?  The most significant concept of Christ’s mind and life revealed by Paul is His absolute obedience to God and His complete selfless actions.  I you want to be kind to everyone, to avoid being rude, hateful, or being prejudice, then think of the needs and value of others above your own needs and value.  If you want to be a good human, then intentionally put others first and find ways to serve those with the greatest needs without any need for accolade or gratitude.  If you want to love the way Christ loves, then completely surrender your life to God and purposefully allow Him to transform your love from self-focused to God focused.

I do not have time in my life anymore to hear the empty, worthless words of politicians, athletes, and Hollywood icons about what it means to be a good person and live a good life.  What I do have time for is the Word of God, quiet moments of prayer, love of my family, friends, congregation, and community, and serving the “least of these” whenever The Lord gives me the change.

So, go out and live your life with the Mind of Christ, the Love of Christ, and the Humility of Christ!

You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.