I’ll be honest with you, one of the biggest challenges we face in following Jesus has to be being a living example of love and humility. How can we even get somewhat close to following Jesus in these areas?
– “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
– “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Both of the above passages come from letters written by Paul as he considered Jesus and how he lived his life. If we are going to call ourselves Christians or Followers of Jesus, then this is a big part of how we are to live our lives.
It is definitely not easy though. Love is so much more than just an emotion. It’s patient, kind, truthful, protecting, trustable, hopeful, perseverance, and is not envious, boastful, proud, dishonoring, self-seeking, easily angered, not a tracker of wrongs, not a lover of evil. That’s a tall order. Love is the sum of everything that is good in the life Jesus lived.
Humility is not easy to live up to either. I think there are two quotes that go with this verse from the letter to the Phillipians.
Humility is using your strength in service of others – John Dickson, from his book Humilitas
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. – C.S. Lewis, from his book Mere Christianity
So, how do we even begin to move in this direction. Especially in a culture that does not see the value in either of these principles…
Well, here are a couple of ideas that, while not easy, can be accomplished when we lean on God and the power of the Holy Spirit within us…
- Be Anti-Narcesistic – Work on serving others without being noticed, redirect the focus toward God giving him the glory to God alone.
- Get on your knees before God – Acknowledge who He is, Confess your failings, Be Thankful for the grace He gives, Ask for a compassionate heart and for a humble spirit
- Live a life based on the principles found in God’s Word – A good starting point is the 10 commandments, try living those out in every area of your life and then move on from there!