ODJ: Willing Humility

December 29, 2016 

READ: Philippians 2:5-11 

He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (v.8).

According to The Wall Street Journal, there’s a new fad among top-level executives. It’s called humility. One former leader states that humility “is the flavor du jour.” Companies prize humble leaders because they listen well and share the limelight. Of course, the leaders have to actually be humble. Fakers abound, like a former executive who constantly stole the limelight from subordinates. According to one observer, “He didn’t understand the humility part of being humble.”

Jesus fully understood the “humility part of being humble.” Though He was God, He humbled Himself like a slave and lived in obedient submission to God the Father. Jesus willingly became a human being for our sake (Philippians 2:6-7). This wasn’t mere similarity, but true identity with human beings. Christ was born and grew up in humble circumstances (Luke 2:7,12,16,22-24), He was obedient to His human parents (v.51), He submitted to baptism (Matthew 3:13-15), He endured insults and ill-treatment (26:66-67; 1 Peter 2:23), and ultimately humbled Himself by dying a criminal’s death on a cross to save us (Philippians 2:8).

Unquestionably, Jesus demonstrated full and willing humility. His life of humble obedience to the Father is a model for us. We’re called to empty ourselves of our selfinterests, submit to God, and follow Him. When we humble ourselves, He promises to delight in us, rescue us, lift us up, support us, lead us in His way, and be gracious to us.

To refuse to humble ourselves before God is to invite Him to humble us. He will do so, not to hurt us, but to restore and renew us (1 Peter 5:5-7). In Jesus, may the Holy Spirit empower us to live free of self-interest as we willingly serve others.

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan: Revelation 1:1-20

Read 1 Kings 3:7 and consider the humility of King Solomon. 
What makes it difficult for you to swallow your pride and serve others as Jesus did? What are some practical things you can do to demonstrate humility this week?