Recently a friend passed on a great quote from C. S. Lewis that led me to some thinking and some self-evaluation. The quote read like this, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
This is so true. It seems like that when I have the proper focus in life (on loving God and loving others) things go smoothly, but when I allow selfishness to creep into my life, this self-focus leads to sin.
Selfishness puts me first. It’s the old, me myself and I mentality. It’s an inward focus versus an outward focus. It’s desiring one’s own way versus God’s way (which is being others minded).
Selfishness whispers things to us like, I deserve this, I’m going to do it my way, It’s not fair, It’s their fault, I need to be heard or get my needs met. Notice how most of these statements contain an I, me or my.
Jesus was the perfect example to us of being other’s minded. He didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus who was sinless, laid down his life so that we could be freed from sins grip and the death we rightly deserved. He paid the ultimate price (his life) so that we could live.
Jesus’ earthly life was a picture of perfect humility. The creator of the universe chose to put on human skin and become like us, so he could show us the way. He could have come as a King or conqueror, but instead he came as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53).
Before his death, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He then told them that they should do the same (John 13:15). This act of servant-hood and humility was a foreshadow of his ultimate act of humility and love on the cross.
Jesus came to set us free from a life of selfish sinfulness. His death bought us freedom. Galatians 5:13 says,“For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.”
Scripture therefore tells us we are to present ourselves as “living sacrifices” because of what God has done for us (Romans 12:1). This means laying down our own wants and desires so that we take on Jesus’ wants and desires for us. It’s in dying to our own selfish desires (sinfulness), so that we become more like Him.
We as believers are called to die to ourselves daily and to take up our cross and follow Him. In doing so we don’t think less of ourselves (because we are children of the King), but rather we think of ourselves less so that we can become more others minded and serve others because of what Jesus has done for us.
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:15
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5
Father God forgive me for the times I’ve given in to the lie, of me, myself and I. Help me to fight the good fight of faith and to live others minded. Help me to daily take up my cross daily so I can follow you. Thank you that you are good, gracious and loving father. And thank you for this most amazing love ever, a love willing to die for me. Help me to live for you! To you be the glory both now and forever! AMEN