God chooses to relate to His people as a Father. He wants those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior to see themselves as His children. Adopted into the family of God. As a child of God, we are called to live under God’s authority and that means wearing what He wants us to wear. Choosing to dress ourselves with the clothes He picks out for us!
God cares deeply about what His children wear. His concern is not so much about types of fabric or the styles of the day. His desire is much deeper. He wants us to clothe ourselves in the characteristics that reflect His heart, nature and character.
We’ve considered two important articles of clothing so far: compassion and kindness.
We are to dress ourselves with compassion and kindness. Jesus demonstrated for us what it looks like to wear compassion and kindness. He had compassion on the hurting, broken, sick, hungry and lost people that He encountered in life. Jesus showed kindness to people by easing their burdens.
The next item of clothing we are to wear is humility.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
We are to clothe our lives with humility. What is humility? It’s defined as “a modest or low view of one's own importance;” I think a better understanding of humility might be: “Thinking of God and others more than you think of yourself.” Humility is seeing your life as less important than others.
Let me tell you - humility is not popular. Our culture does not promote it. In fact we are bombarded with the idea that life is about us. Our happiness, our desires, our way!
Have you ever wanted to get your way? Ever demand that you get your way? Ever run someone over to get your way? We’ve all been there, because as humans we have all been infected by an insidious disease called pride. What is pride?
Pride is thinking too much of self and too little of God.
Because we have this tendency, this natural inclination, Paul tells the church that they are to clothe themselves with humility. Why? Because God HATES pride! He opposes pride. Pride pushes God out of your life. When our lives are clothed with pride we are not reflecting Jesus to the world.
Jesus is the perfect example of what it looks like to live a life clothed in humility. If anyone had the right to be self centered it was Jesus, He is the center of the Universe! Yet when He came to our world, He chose to clothe Himself with humility.
Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Paul challenges his readers about their thinking. How we think determines how we behave, if our thinking is wrong our doing will be wrong. Paul says we are to think like Jesus. We are to follow His example. Jesus laid aside His “rights”. That is the essence of humility!
“He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.” - The Message
He was born into our world as helpless baby. He limited Himself to humanity.
He not only did that, but He humbled Himself all the way to the point of submitting to the greatest act of injustice ever committed - the cross. Nothing was more unjust than the cross. Yet He humbly endured all of this, entrusting His life to the Father.
He showed us how we can clothe our lives with humility.
Remember we are to have the “same mind” as Jesus did.
We get so caught up in our “rights”. We cling to them. Demand them. We strive. We want our own way. That is pride. It’s an offense to God. It pushes God out of our lives and it brings conflict to our lives and to Jesus’ church.
Conflict occurs when we selfishly seek our own way!
Jesus showed us a different way! Consider the first 4 verses of this chapter at how Paul instructed the followers of Jesus to live.
Philippians 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Jesus longs for unity in His church. It’s what He prayed for the night before He died.
Paul longed for what Jesus longed for. Do you?
Humility is the pathway to experiencing the unity Jesus longs for in His church!
You have been called by God to know Him. If you are His child He has the right to tell you what you what to wear! Don’t fight Him! He wants to dress you for true success! He wants you to clothe yourself with humility.
Choose to wear humility today. Don't just think about it, do it!
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.