Sunday, February 22, 2009

Humbly Regard Others as More Important than Yourselves

One interesting passage of Scripture that has challenged me a lot through my last years has been the following " Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others" (Phil 2:3-4). Perhaps my difficulties stem from my own pride and my failure to observe and even understand fully what this passage is asking of me. I find the whole thing challenging, and the challenge grows as these verses are followed by the invitation to have the same mind and attitude of Christ. Wow, that is a real challenge. But the part that I have found a real difficulty even in understanding it is the one that says humbly regard others as more important than yourselves. Perhaps my difficulties came from the awareness that no two people have the same qualities and gifts, and one can truly say that this person possesses these qualities and this other person does not. So it is possible to compare at least demonstrable qualities. However, I am also aware that it is not possible to judge the interior life of a soul, and only God can do that. Only God can determine who will have the highest degree of glory in the life to come. As far as we are concerned, it seems to me, the first task is to avoid comparisons to begin with. In fact Jesus Christ gives us an apparent paradox for those who like to be first, when He says: "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:4). So you in order to go high you have to go low, or as Scripture says "whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Mat 23:12). So here I had to look at Christ and His humility, Christ certainly knew that He was superior to others ontologically, spiritually, morally, etc. yet, He came and humbly regarded every one of us as superior to Him, and for that reason He came to serve each of us and even gave His life for each one of us. That is humility. And I understood that it is not a matter of being higher and lower than other people, it is not a matter of comparisons, it is a matter of considering every single human being on the face of the earth as superior to me, so that I can indeed have the same attitude of Christ who came to serve ALL, without making distinctions at all. The words "consider others as more important" or superior, it is not a statement of fact, only God knows that, but it is a statement about an ATTITUDE. This means that I will freely choose to look at others as superior to me so that I can serve them with joy and readily, in fact, I consider each person as worthy of my service, so that I can live what Scripture says, "each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone for those of others" (Phil 2:4). Now the complete grace is not just to understand it, but also to live it out, day in and day out. Now pray for me :-)


  1. I am praying for this MOST HUMBLE PRIEST!

  2. Thank you very much for this very valuable perspective. May God bless you.

  3. Keep on coming back to review this most challenging post.... Amazing that Christ actually did perceive all human beings as being more important than Himself and His own will, because of His statement: "...not My will be done..." How much in need we are indeed to cruxify our own agendas and wills in favour of what God is requiring of us at any given moment in time....

    A very good article to read in line with this is "The Shy Virtue of Christmas" by John Piper.

    Be blessed!