“… but in humility consider others better than yourselves…” Philippians 2:3

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Paul doesn’t mean that we ought to consider others better than ourselves in the sense of being better cooks, or better Bible interpreters, or even better at suffering patiently. There are certainly plenty of people who are better than me at all of these things, but humility doesn’t require that the other person is more talented than me in every way — or any way. Maybe that’s obvious to you, but it had been throwing me off. What if I really do bake better bread than my neighbor. Then what? Am I supposed to pretend like I don’t?

Paul points us to Jesus to understand humility. At twelve years old Jesus astonished the great teachers with his understanding of the Scriptures — he was better than them — yet he was humble.

Jesus did not go around saying things like, “You are more worthy than I am to do the work the Father has given me.” That would have been ridiculous.

Humility says, “All the grace God has given me I will use for your benefit.”

So we can be humble towards our families. We can be humble towards people who made really bad choices. We can be humble towards the middle-aged woman with Down syndrome. We can be humble towards children yet to be born.

Saying in it all, “I pour out my life for you.”

 

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