Empty Yourself


“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2

Question: If you had the choice of being stuck for 24 hours in a broken-down elevator with a prideful, arrogant, and completely full of himself person OR a humble, caring, and generous person, whom would you choose? If you had a choice between working on a company project or sharing a room during a company conference with either of these two kinds of individuals, which one would you rather partner up with? If you were going to set up your best friend on a blind date (not as a joke!), which person would get the green light?

I’m pretty sure I know how you answered each of those questions. There is just something agitating and painful about spending time with a person who is consumed with him or herself. It doesn’t take long before you are looking for a quick getaway - or if you’re stuck - before you need some aspirin for your headache! At the same time, there is something refreshing and enjoyable about hanging out with a humble person. In fact, there's something almost otherworldly about a truly humble person - it’s just not natural!

God knows we are always tempted to only think of and care about ourselves. This is why He is so proud of those who learn to live differently - as Christ lived. If there was ever a human being with the inarguable right to be completely proud of himself, it was Jesus, THE ONE “Through whom all things were created, and through whom we live...Who existed before anything else, and who holds all creation together." (1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:17) And yet instead of coming to rule and reign over His creation, He did the unimaginable...

"Christ Jesus: Who existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but EMPTIED HIMSELF, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 28:26-28

How can any of us who call ourselves disciples of Christ, dare to live for our own glory and ambition in light of His example and claim on our lives? If Jesus emptied Himself in obedience to God and for our salvation, how can we continue to live full of ourselves?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

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