Philppians 2:8-10 (NASB)
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore as God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.”
There is a paradox in humility. Jesus, “humbled himself” by being obedient even to the point of death, and as a result, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… of those in heaven, those on the earth and those under the earth.” The picture here is that wherever Jesus is, or wherever His name is spoken- everyone bows to Him and acknowledges Him as Lord. Humbled in one moment, glorified in the end.
The key is how to handle the glory. The humble part is a decision to do the hard thing, to accept that your ‘rights’ are not important, that you may never get any credit… just do the right thing. There is a resolve there. It can feel good to make that decision. And once that decision is made, the humility part, selflessness, is easier to take. It is not an act of weakness, but a decision based on strength and resolve.
The glory part is harder because it is unexpected. The decision to by humble expects no glory… and many times there is none! Humility by nature avoids recognition. But as it happened to Jesus, our humility also can have an end result of praise- humility is a desirable attribute.
I do not have a picture of Jesus waving his wand and people bowing out of fear. I see no condemnation in His eyes. I see a picture of love… a picture of His acceptance of me, even though He knows my sin. There is no picture of triumph by Him. Though He is deserving of the praise, the humility is still there.
Lord teach me to be humble. Teach me to be willing to do the right thing. And Lord, should I ever be praised in humility, keep me from pride and may your love be evident in all I do and say.
By: Tim Slighter