Daily Devotionals

Be Brave: Week 3 - Thursday

Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

One of the characteristics that can be found in a genuinely gracious person is humility. After all, it takes a great deal of humility to choose to treat someone better than they deserve. A prideful person will refuse to extend grace because they cannot imagine treating someone better than they deserve or giving someone something that they have not earned. A humble person treats others as if they are more significant than him or herself and will be quick to extend grace. As we consider people who modeled humility, the apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 2 that no person demonstrated humility greater than Jesus Christ.

In Philippians 2, Paul calls believers to have an attitude of love and care for each other. Then, in verse three, he writes, "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Then, he calls readers to have the same attitude of Jesus, who lived with all humility, who, although He was God, left heaven and came to earth as a human being. He was God, but humbly lived life as a human being and laid down his life by dying on a cross for the sins of the world. There is no greater expression of humility than this. Because of His humility, He extended grace when He gave His life so that you and I might be saved.

If Jesus modeled humility to the highest extent, how much more should you and I model humility when we interact with others? Christ set the ultimate example of what it looks like to live humbly. Living humbly means valuing others, sometimes setting aside our own wishes and desires for the betterment of others, and extending grace. When one has a humble mindset, it is second nature to extend grace because of the way he or she values others. If you are married, living in humility means setting aside your own agenda for the other person. If you are in a relationship with your best friend, humility is putting your friend's interest above your own. Because of our pride, living this way can be difficult. We are all called to a lifestyle of humility.

When you consider your life, are you a humble person or do you struggle with pride? Pride in our lives will quickly keep us from offering grace to those closest to us, such as our spouses, family members, or friends, when they hurt us. Jesus modeled a better way for us. He, in humility, extended grace to all of humanity when He died for the sins of the world. Choose today to adopt the same humility as Christ, quick to extend grace.

Moving Toward Action

Pride is so sneaky that we often will not recognize it in ourselves. Today, ask a trusted friend or family member if there is any pride in your own life that you are blind to. As they answer your question, be open to what they may say and willing to be challenged by their response. If they say yes, listen attentively and spend time in prayer, asking God to help you reject pride and live in humility.

Going Deeper

Read Philippians 2:1-18 (NLT)

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.