I'm just now getting around to writing about the discussion at church two weeks ago, but I've been absorbing some of the points and finding personal challenges I can focus on in my own life.
Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Verse one discusses all the benefits of having unity with Christ, then transitions into the challange we should all take on:
We should consider our motives.
Romans 12:3 (NIV)
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
We should adjust our attitude.
We need to avoid thinking about ourselves only.
He focused on humility, and defined it as freedom from having to think about oneself. I tend to get very introspective sometimes and like to think about my hopes and dreams and everything in my life. Realizing that this time could be better spent thinking about others around me, about others that God has placed in my life, really hits home. I have no need to be selfishly ambitious. I like what Pastor Rick said, "If you work only for yourself, your success dies with you, but if you work for others, the work will never be done." That reminds me of what someone once said. We are only a small part of the larger story. Our challange should be to make as much of an impact as we can.
John 12:24-25 (Message)
Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.
We'll find fulfillment in Christ by having total abandonment of our selfish tendencies, demonstrating genuine acts of love toward one another, and really portraying a servant's heart.