Philippians 2:3-8 (New Living Translation)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges: he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Culture: Look out for number one! … Alternative: Don’t be selfish.
Culture: You have to talk yourself up! … Alternative: Don’t try to impress others.
Culture: Be aggressive and forceful! … Alternative: Be humble.
Culture: It’s all about you! … Alternative: It’s not really about you.
Jesus taught us what it meant to truly love. Jesus loved us so much, that he was willing to leave behind the glory of heaven and come to earth as a simple human being. He had the power of the universe at his command, but he only used that power to heal and to teach and to save. He never once used it for himself, even when it could have spared him great suffering and saved his own life. He was endlessly self-giving, always looking for ways to demonstrate God’s love through his words and actions.
How would our lives speak to the people around us if we chose — as an experiment — to live by the words of today’s reading for one full day? What would people see in us if we didn’t try to impress them with our possessions, knowledge, beauty, fashion, connections, or anything else that could set us apart? What if we took an active interest in the people around us, just to get to know them better, with no other motivation? What if we put our own desires aside for a day, and sought to meet the needs of the people around us? What if we tried for that day to show God’s love, forgiveness, and grace in every single conversation and interaction?
What would that look like? What might happen in your life that day?