"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." Philippians 2:3-4
Let me tell you about José “Pepe” Mujica. Perhaps you’ve heard the name. He lives in a three-room country shack with a corrugated iron roof. He drives around in a worn-out Volkswagen Beetle. Who is he? Well, as of last year, Mujica was Uruguay’s 40th President.
To the country of Uruguay, known simply as "Pepe", he was the definition of humility. He chose a simple, modest lifestyle and donated around 90 percent of his monthly salary to charities. When he stepped down as President, many remembered him as the "world’s most humble leader".
In the above passage and throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to have that same elusive quality: humility. Humility talks of putting others above ourselves. Rather than shouting “pick me, pick me,” we say, “you first, pick them”. Humility is the quality that encourages us to go above and beyond rather than just fulfilling our duty.
But why is humility as a virtue so consistently advocated to us as believers? Why do qualities such as courtesy, patience and selflessness feature so often in the Bible? Well, because we are following in the footsteps of one who was the root and nature of true humility: we have Jesus as our example. Although Jesus was equal with God, he became man to set those privileges aside. He came not to be served but to serve, he associated with those rejected and cast out in society, he washed the feet of his disciples, he befriended the lost and the broken.
The evidence, therefore, of our own humility is how we serve those around us. True love is seen in our treatment of our neighbour and friend. Let’s take the lesson that the book of Philippians offers us, and let’s walk in Christ’s footsteps. Let’s aim to put others before ourselves and walk humbly before our mighty God.
Heavenly Father, help us to deny ourselves and surrender our lives to you. Guide each step we take so that we walk humbly with you each day. Give us the strength to love those around us and let us be a people that serve others before ourselves. Amen.