Philippians: Day 4

Christian Humility

by

Today's Text: Philippians 1:27-2:18, Psalm 133:1-3, 1 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Corinthians 11:1

At its root, the most humiliating sin is pride.

Whether at work or at parties, I like to be the center of attention or I don’t want to play at all. I like it best when a group is gathered around me laughing at my jokes. I think that’s one of the reasons I loved teaching high school; they were a daily captive audience.

Last month for my birthday, my loving and long-suffering friends sat around a table and let me look up the etymological history of words in our new Oxford English Dictionary and read it aloud to them. And that’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday. I wanted to be the center of attention with space for declaring my wit. I’m an insufferable bore, I know.

Showing off my knowledge of big and obscure words, I suggested “omphaloskepsis.”

It basically means “navel gazing,” or complete self-absorption. This is a problem for all of us, really. We are busy staring at our own belly buttons, or taking selfies, or admiring our interior decor. We are caught up in looking at ourselves.

The deep and profound problem with pride is that it makes us want to be better than everyone else, to look down on everyone, including God. This is the sin that made Lucifer into the devil. He was just a fabulous angel until he allowed his pride to make him think he was better than God (Ezekiel 28:14-17).

But there’s one thing we can never forget: God is God. We are not.

I know what you might be thinking. Obviously, I’m not God. This is not my area of sin. But when I look at my life, sometimes I start to think, You know, I really have put in my time. I think I’m the king of this little hill. I’m actually quite a lovely person! That’s when I’ve focused my admiration on myself instead of Christ.

But look at Christ. Look how He handled the temptation of pride. He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7).

Christ’s humility is astonishing because He had every right to assert His equality with God. He is the only one who has ever had the right, and He yielded His rights for our sake. In His love for us, He denied Himself and emptied Himself of pride.

Paul contrasts our pride with Christ’s humility to exhort us to unity. If I can let go of competing with you, and you can let go of competing with me, we can divert our gaze to Christ and live in unity with each other. The only fruit of pride is death, but the fruit of humility is unity.

Let’s apologize to our loved ones for staring at our own navels instead of loving them, confess our pride to Christ, and learn from His dear humility to live in unity with each other.

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  • Gail Lusty

    This lesson for me is so timely. God is always on time. A lady in my church is raising an issue that she wants to go her way, but I’m thinking of such impact on the group as a whole and trying to resolve her issue with unity of the church as the first priority. With each word, I ask the Lord for wisdom as I try to resolve this issue. I am so thankful for God’s Word!

  • Caylie Evans

    I have a tendency to get really overwhelmed by large social groups because I’m constantly trying to shove myself into the fun, but that’s such a navel-focused mindset. I’m going to work harder to focus on others while I’m with others and just trying to be a servant even socially.

  • wow, yeah. this seems painfully accurate. it is so easy to look to our own navels, harder to look to Christ and to follow his lead. humility is difficult.

  • Carol Polson

    My friends mom would say, “take off your inner eyeballs”–navel gazing is a good one.

  • I loved phillipians 1:27 , such a good reminder to do everything for the glory of God also 1:29-30 saying that we should not only believe in Christ and be thankful for the benefits but also we should suffer for him and also be thankful for the hard times . Also 2:8-11 I loved that because it really reminded me how passionate our love should be for Christ, we should kneel on one knee and bow down to him not only on a physical level but and emotional level, Also in verse 11 it says ” and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord to the glory of God the Father” this is something we should live out daily relentless of what we think others might think about us

  • Rebecca, as a fellow “wordie,” I get you. Thanks for this!

  • Megan Hale

    Please pray for me. I have some issues right now in my life and I feel that my faith is floating away. I love these bible studies a lot. They have helped me.

    • Cinda

      Megan, I am glad to see you have connected to Shereadstruth and the word of God. Stay in the word, surround yourself with those who believe and take each day one step at a time. God loves you so much and he won’t fail you. Praying for you.

    • Christina

      Megan, sorry to hear that. You must fight the good fight, in the end you will not regret it. I know you wrote this 3 months ago, but I will still pray.

  • I feel like this was written exactly for me. I struggle with pride and it’s the core of most my sinful behavior. I ask that you ladies pray for me, I am so tired of trying to be better than everyone else- whether it be to look nicer or have my home decorated better. I need the Lord to change me and help me walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.

  • Tara Hayes

    I love how God works. For sometime He’s been revealing to me that humility is the key to unity. He’s also been reminding me that the foundation of most of my sin is pride. Thank you for this post – this solidified His teaching to my heart.

  • I pray Jesus that I am LESS ME and MORE YOU. I am so easily selfish and focused on myself, help me not to be. I long only to be yours and with you Lord. Amen!

  • I pray that He would rid my of myself and fill me with Him. I am so quick to be focused on my self and what i want and what i need. But if i look up for a moment, i see a thousand needs of others. Oh Jesus, help me to look away from my self and to truly be the body of Christ- to love and give selflessly, instead of selfishly.

  • churchmouse

    Ah yes. The world already has an Eeyore. No need for any more. Praying today for better eyesight – to see all the gifts He gives my every day and to humbly say thank you. All is far more than I deserve. Thanks – living leaves no room for grumbling or complaining.

  • I’ve got news, girls! It’s not about you!! Say what? It’s not about YOU! It’s all about Him and how He wants you to serve others.

  • Pray for me please ladies!

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you right now, Britt. For whatever you need, for Him to provide and to His glory.

  • Carrie Koopmans

    In check*

  • Carrie Koopmans

    Wow that hit home today! I have a saying that always keeps me check. Praise him and thank him first always before you let pride kick in. Give the credit to him

  • Andrea H

    Love that you witness by remaining positive Lucy. It can be hard to maintain that position amongst the grumbles! Thank you for your perspective.

  • Michelle of LA CA

    "by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7)."

    Yep !!!
    Thank you for your writing today

  • I had once been told "When there is less of me in my heart, it makes more room for Him." May I empty myself today and be filled with the life giving presence of my Jesus.
    God be with all of you today!! xo

  • That was dope Lucy!!!

  • There’s a line in a song we sing at church that fits well with today’s thoughts: “Take the pride in me, bring it to my knees.”

  • Didnt look at it that way yet. Indeed, IF I would be able to die for a loved one, it would have to be fast. What an amazing sacrafice He made!!

  • Blessings Rebecca, I so related to your story. I constantly to soundchecks with my attitude making sure that it is about HiM and not me.

    Debbie

  • Suzie Lind

    It’s interesting that the “therefore” ties humility that produces unity to the working out our salvation with fear and trembling. It appears through this word and in my own experience I know for sure that being of the same mind and heart with believers, putting others first, exalting Jesus above our own selves and ambition is REALLY hard at times and require us to preach the gospel to ourselves daily and push ourselves to abandon the pull of self promotion in this world for REST in the love and grace of Jesus. It definitely is a “work out” but not one that we are used to or expect. Thank God the He promises the Spirit will help us. Right?!

  • HelenWalksinAwe

    All this talk of selfies gave me an idea for a fun project and an exercise in looking past ourselves on social media. What if, for a week, instead of posting selfies or sorta-selfies ("Look at the gourmet dinner I made last night!" "Admire my fall decorations!." "My dog is the most adorable thing ever!" "Check out my cute/clever/talented kids!" If you're not sure what I mean, check out this brilliant social commentary of such posts on instagram: https://instagram.com/socalitybarbie/ ), we post about the goodness we see in other people. Strangers, neighbors, our kids' friends' parents. Instead of using social media as a platform to pump ourselves up and make our lives look like something out of a magazine, what if we used social media to celebrate the beauty of the *other* people around us?

    This will be harder than these self-centered posts because we don't have the same level of access to other people's lives. But worth it? quite possibly. Especially as we lift up the work and beauty of other people. What if we offered up a prayer or dedicated a line of scripture to the people in these posts?

    I think I want to challenge myself to do this. It'll be tricky because I'm still recovering from birthing that sweet little 8 pounder last week, so I'm kinda home bound.

    Now all the project needs is a good hashtag… Want to join me?

    • Amy J

      You're speaking to my heart. I've always wanted to do this, to celebrate the successes of others, through my photography – and also believe God is pushing me in that direction – but have never actually started. Let's start. :)

      Hashtag ideas… #fruitofhumility #humilityisunity #forhispleasure

      • Hannah

        #Hisimage #toliveischrist #Godschildren #christsheart #doinggoodworks #grace

        • Hannah

          #encouragemore #buildingothersup

          • Amy J

            love your suggestions, Hannah, especially… #doinggoodworks #buildingothersup

          • HelenWalksinAwe

            So many great suggestions!!! After searching just about all of them, #buildingothersup and #Philippians2v3 seem like good bets. Not too many posts already, and no naughty pictures! Thanks for so many fantastic suggestions!!! Don't forget to also add #shereadstruth

    • Kim

      LOVE this idea!!
      Congratulations and welcome to your new wee one!!!

    • Joanna

      Helen! Congrats on your new addition! I love this idea. When do we start?

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        Thanks, Joanna! Let's start on Monday! #buildingothersup and #Philippians2v3 #shereadstruth booyeah!

    • shereadstruth

      Love this idea, Helen! Thanks for sharing your heart with us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Stefanie J

      Love this idea! It’s so much easier just to post about ourselves, this is such a wonderful challenge! Congrats on the addition as well!

    • Andrea H

      Love the idea. It’s going to force us all to look around for the good!

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        For real! I've already started looking around and just looking fills me with joy. There's so much I see that isn't good photo-fodder but that is beautiful all the same.

    • Carolyn

      Great idea, Helen! I’m in!

    • Caroline

      I love this idea!!! I will definitely take part!!! It’s so easy to praise God for the work He’s doing in our life and leave it at that but to reach out to hear others stories really helps us grow as brothers and sisters as well as daughter and sons in Christ!

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        Indeed! It's going to be a gorgeous challenge! #buildingothersup and #Philippians2v3 #shereadstruth

    • Emily

      I love this! #philippians2:3 #lookoutward #othersfirst

    • Amy Jo

      Helen,

      I LOVE this idea!!! How can we unify our efforts?! My IG name is amyjojo18, try to find me. My email is [email protected] if you can’t find me. I am so excited about this. I don’t understand your reference however to the Barbie IG. I looked it up and it doesn’t make much sense to me. I am eager to see how God uses this to focus on Him through OTHERS. Totally get hung up on myself sometimes- even if I’m trying to better myself through study and prayer, I need to look up more often. I’m missing opportunities. Thank you for this!!!

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        #buildingothersup #phillipians2v3 #shereadstruth

        The socality barbie is just poking fun at the IG subculture of humble-bragging or spending a ridiculous amount of time/photo-shopping/staging to show off one's hip, "authentic" lifestyle. I dunno, I thought it was funny. Maybe it's less funny if you don't see too much of that stuff on your feed in the first place. =)

        I definitely am with you with the focusing on myself too much and what more I can do. I think it's great that we got to spend so much time this week focusing on the work of those who labor with us.

        #buildingothersup #phillipians2v3 #shereadstruth

    • Laura

      That socalitybarbie IG account IS. AWESOME.

      I like #forHispleasure or #HISimage or something like that.

      Congrats on your new baby :)

      • HelenWalksinAwe

        Yay! I'm glad you appreciate the humor of it. And thanks. He's a little bundle of crazy-great.

  • colatowntourist

    This one hit me pretty hard: "I like to be the center of attention or I don’t want to play at all." Pride is the root of all of my faults. Lord, help me to be humble so that you do not have to humble me!

  • mamajonk

    Can I just say….breath of fresh air?!!!! Thanks Lucy, loved this!

  • Sarah Morris

    On a non-related note: any girls from Belmont/Vandy area want to start getting together once a week to have a personal Bible study with the SRT materials? I want to!

  • So good Joanna!
    Instead of putting ourselves on display, putting our worth in 'followers', and living our lives as open books… let's hide ourselves in Jesus.
    Let's remember that He sees us & He values us…even when we don't POST about it :) ….and that's all that really matters.

    • Debbie

      Like Colton Dixon sings, "let them see You in me"

      Blessings for this day my SRT friend, Debbie

  • If Christ is MOST important to me and I love the body as Christ loves me, there is no room for self.

    Now the question is, is Christ most important to me? I can't say yes… Unless I can say, I regard others as more important than myself.

    Can I say that???

  • I am so glad you brought out these verses about not complaining. I think my pride is the source of my complaints and discontent. Because my flesh thinks I deserve better than the inconveniences and struggles of life, I don’t accept them. I grumble and complain. Praying for the mind of Christ to give me perspective on things today so I don’t grumble or complain. Thanks for sharing, Lucy_seeks!

  • Condensed into my goal for today: Be humble and don't grumble. (With a lot of prayer and help from the Holy Spirit, 'cause I've proven that I sure can't do it myself! Thank the Lord that He will complete the work He has begun in me!)

  • You got me. I am guilty of taking selfies. I was just in Paris with my wonderful mom and when she saw me posing for one, she started laughing hysterically. From then on, at every restaurant we went to she would tilt her head, make a duckface, and stare out into the distance. It was then I realized how ridiculous the whole thing is. Why am I so concerned with what I look like? Why am I filtering my photos to have the best skin possible and appear flawless? Jesus doesn’t care about that!! He cares about what I do for OTHERS. How much of my life I spend devoted to GIVING. Ironically enough, that comes easier to me than anything else in the world…and when I feel gratitude, I feel good WITH NO FILTER. Lord, I ask that you help me to be more like Your son, and to look to HIM not only for validation but motivation to not lose sight of the greater image; living to serve.

  • MNmomma (heather)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you! Looking for and seeking out the positives in things is how I try to live my life, but of course, there are times I fail…..and grumble…..thank you for the reminder again to do all things with a joyful heart, to be grateful and thankful in everything…..remembering that God is working in those not so shiny moments (and down right miserable, life-sucking moments)……those times when life hits so hard and fast – God is there…..

    Let's blow some minds today (and everyday) ladies! :)

  • Something I struggle with. Making a conversation about me, feeling like I “need” confirmation of acceptance. Praying now for change.

  • Love this. Amazing things happen when we shift the attention from ourselves to others.

  • Pride comes in all sorts of ugly. I know my own pride typically looks like comparison and woe-is-me. When life is good, it could always be better… compared to others or my own lofty personal expectations. And when life is not so good, inevitable lament sets in.
    But I love Paul's exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
    Because when I think about Christ and His perfect example of living, I desperately want to follow His ways. He was humble before God. He trusted God wholeheartedly. He had complete faith in God's plans. He loved with abandon. His mind was focused on eternal things. He didn't judge, He welcomed and accepted. He didn't demand His own ways, He believed and followed God's perfect ways. He forgave and continues to forgive.

    Oh, sisters, my faithfulness feels small. I so easily tire in persistence of the same prayer after a few days. I often don't hear (read: listen) because I fear God's response. Life is messy. I feel beyond repair at times. But God continues to shower me with grace. And when I meditate on Christ's example, I know it to be good and right and true. Peace lies in His ways. And blessed are the peacemakers. I want to be a peacemaker for Him.
    And this all circles back to pride. Because Jesus' example was rooted in less of Him, more of God. In humbly setting aside His ways for God's ways. Praying for His help in turning away from my own pride and toward Him – today and everyday. To have a humble confidence in Him. To trust Him wholeheartedly. To have faith in His perfect plans, and walk in obedience. To love others with abandon. To set my heart on eternal things. To welcome and accept others, instead of judging them. To believe and follow His ways, rather than demand my own (this is a big one for me). And to forgive and forgive some more.
    Is this even possible, to follow these perfectly and completely? No, it's not! And that is the beautiful and glorious point. His ways are not a lovely, organized list I can check off each day. Love just doesn't work that way. And I cannot follow His example in my own might and strength. This is why I am grateful He sent His Spirit to me, and continually showers me with His amazing grace. I will mess up. I will lament. I will compare. But He is working, growing me to Him. Once again, humbly choosing to trust His perfect process. Thankful He is with me and that He is always working.

    • Lyle

      I can be so guilty of comparing! Your thoughts on Christ’s example today are so encouraging, Beverly. So thankful for His ability to love through us. So glad that though I am not enough, He is!

      • Beverly

        Amen, Lyle. He is more than enough. Always. Sending a hug and a prayer to you today. Praying that (we can both) rest in Him, fully and contentedly. He gives us all and more than we could ever need. Grateful.

    • Beverly

      Grateful for your encouragement, Lucy. Hope you have a beautiful day full of His goodness and grace!

  • StillInNeedMomma

    My favorite quote is "Paul contrasts our pride with Christ’s humility to exhort us to unity. If I can let go of competing with you, and you can let go of competing with me, we can divert our gaze to Christ and live in unity with each other. The only fruit of pride is death, but the fruit of humility is unity."
    This speaks to me because I'm a member of our local school PTA. Unfortunately, when you get a group of women together there is bound to be conflict and a "I think my way/idea is better" attitude which breeds dissent.
    Lord, I pray that you will give me a Christ like humility so that in everything I do I can be united, not divided, with my peers so that we are stronger together than divided. Keep our hearts and minds focused on being your hands and feet.

    • Amy J

      Love your reference to PTA. I'm stepping in for my PTA president tonight, leading the Board Meeting, in her absence. I'm looking for any way to get out of it; to get out of leading. I'm incredibly nervous… assuming I'll fail, assuming I can't possibly lead, assuming I don't know how to do this… I guess that's pride? I pray for Christ like humility as I lead the meeting this evening. I pray for you and your local PTA, as well.

  • Caroline @ In due time

    Something I need to work on! Lord forgive us when humility doesn’t take the lead in our life!

    http://Www.In-due-time.com

  • 'you backed over my cat' lol!! That had me laughing! Thank you for your wonderful perspective this morning. You have completely blessed me with your honestly and open heart and tenacity to be positive in the face of the world. You go, girl.

  • Grumble. Unity. Humility.

    Yesterday was a day of grumbling that I justified thinking that the products would be unity and humility. We´re going on a short overnight today and tomorrow, yet with two littles that still means a boatload of packing. Living on the Equator doesn´t help since a jungle vacation requires some tactful packing. So there I was, backpacks spread out, carefully counting outfits, extra outfits, repellent, sunscreen, hats, extra hats, etc. Little did I know I was being Miss Bossy Pants while I tried to avoid any possible future moments of, "You forgot this!".

    My rose-colored vision of this trip would be to finally have an outing where I actually thought of everything and get to relax, put the focus on others, and enjoy the privilege God gave us of a trip out of the city together… unity & humility? Well, even if the intentions are good– which they so often are– it doesn´t justify my manipulative means. "…but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves"… in every moment of the process. Forgive me, Father.

    On a note of thankfulness, our small business venture has gotten underway and it seems like it´s catching on. Thank you for your prayers for that, and for my IF: Local adventure with my family. I appreciate it more than you know! I hope those who are on the fence about hosting will just go for it. Worst case scenario you´re sitting in your clean, maybe decorated living room watching it by yourself without having to share the cookies you baked. Yes, that was me a couple sessions the first year :). Much joy, sisters.

    • LesleeFalk

      I've wanted to host an IF:Local of my own for such a long time but I've always held myself back because my husband and I have moved so many times with his military career that I feel I will be that person sitting alone with my cookies. We're finally settled after his military career and we won't be moving again any time soon. I appreciate your words and your "worst case scenario". I think it's time that I just go for it. :)

      I hope you and your family enjoy your trip!

  • How good is Jesus? I love this. Today it is so easy to get wrapped up in our own issues and our own life. This is a good reminder to take a moment and reach out to someone else. Everyone has their own hurdles; today I’m going to not focus on me for a moment and instead put that attention on loving others – my husband, my son, my daughter, a good friend.

  • It blows my mind, that Christ willingly gave up his life for me, for you in every way possible. My mind cannot comprehend.

    • shereadstruth

      Yes, yes, yes. So thankful for this reminder, Donna! Thanks for joining us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • When my ten-year-old was born, nearly 11 weeks early, we spent time in two Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The teeny babies became familiar faces as we would pass by their isolettes en route to our wee one. One baby, in particular, caught my daily attention. She was the teeniest of them all, so premature that her skin was a shiny, red translucent. Her cry was more like a kitten's mew and her eyes rarely open, as her body struggled to grow outside of the womb. This sweet babe wasn't able to be cuddled and touch, at all, was extremely limited. At this point in growth, touch is painful because of the raw, exposed nerve endings throughout the body, so what would be a simple, soft stroke to a full termer, brings a vast amount of pain to these little ones. Pain that is likely incomparable and can propel these babies to stop breathing and their hearts to tremor.

    Pride isn't dissimilar to this. Our prideful reactions become like raw nerve endings and feelings of disgust tremor through our body the minute we believe ourselves superior or wronged in opinion, separating us from one another instead of drawing us into a unity. When we focus inwardly, we become over sensitive to the world around us and unintentionally position ourselves in sterile places, foregoing genuine relationship with one another. When we begin to realize that our position or "rightness" isn't what matters, when we demonstrate a genuine interest in others and allow ourselves to bend, we open ourselves up to harmonic relationships that generate growth, love and a natural peace befitting of Christ followers. Prayerful that I recall my appropriate place in Christ, that I should extoll a light outward and not demand my own spotlight. ~ B

    • Denise

      This was just what I needed this morning. Thank you for your touching story and thoughts xo

    • Deb Black

      I'm in a place of prideful, self induced isolation right now. The story of that precious baby and how the gentlest of touches would cause great pain – I find myself flinching and recoiling at any touch… For whatever reason, I've convinced myself that whatever I'm doing at the moment has in some way elevated me above the other person (my husband, my kids…) and that the 'distraction' of their hug or playful nudge is somehow beneath me. Wow – talk about pride.

      I know this about me, but this pattern repeats over and over in my life. I'm so thankful that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion!

      The way you have described pride as focusing inwardly really spoke to my heart. So often, I think that if I can just take care of me and stay out of everyone's way and not be a bother to anyone else that I am somehow humble… In reality, this is self centered pride, resulting in me positioning myself in a sterile place.

      I've been struggling through this for weeks now, today's scripture and comments is right on time (as always!) – thank you B for sharing that story and perspective.

      • Shannon H

        Oh Deb, I never thought of my nose to the grindstone efforts to get things done and my frustration at interruptions as pride, but you nailed it! Oh you nailed it! My impatience and harsh tone of voice with the kids, my reticence to dive into intimacy with my husband….it set,s from pride induced isolation. Oh Lord, cleanse our hearts from pride and help us to love others in humility!! Praying for you today, Deb…as I too ask for the strength to fight the good fight of the faith!

      • ~ B ~

        I think we all fall in the "if I stay out of everyone's way" mode from time to time…it's an easy place to lean. Prayerful over your sterile places that God brings new life to them and that you feel His leading. ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Wow B…..thank you so much for sharing. What a powerful correlation…..I will be thinking on this for a while……thank you!

    • Lyle

      Fantastic description of pride, B! Looking outward is so crucial. When I think of Christ’s example, He always searched for

    • Erin

      Wow, great comparison. Thanks for that perspective.
      -a momma of a 26 weeker

      • ~ B ~

        Hope your sweet babe is doing well and growing like a weed! They are such small treasures! ~ B

    • Lyle

      Sorry, hit post by mistake! Jesus always looked outside of Himself, ignored his human hunger and fatigue to serve and love and teach others. He, of all people ever–King of Kings!–had the most to be proud of and totally emptied Himself of that. Through the Spirit, to imitate Him today is my prayer!

      • ~ B ~

        I truly hope and am prayerful that I can ignore my "human hunger and fatigue" … there are days it gets the better of me, but I am striving to daily serve and love. Thank you Lyle! ~ B

  • bellissimanh

    I'm a grumbler. I hate this about myself… but I know that I have a tendency to see things from a negative perspective and to voice my discontent, which means not only am I bringing myself down, I'm spreading that crap around and infecting the people I share my complaints with. This is so not who I want to be. THIS is who I want to be:

    "Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…" (Philippians 2:14-15)

    I came across this story this morning, and this? It's a perfect example of why I want to (with God's help) silence my grumbling, not just in the words that others can hear, but in my heart too… I want to shine His light. Check it out…

    When Benjamin Franklin decided to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, he hung a beautiful lantern on the end of a long bracket attached to the front of his house," wrote Cole D. Robinson in World Horizons.

    "He kept the glass brightly polished and carefully lit the wick each evening at the approach of dusk. Anyone walking on the dark street could see this light from a long way off and came under its warm glow."

    What was the result?

    "It wasn't long before Franklin's neighbors began placing lamps outside their homes," Cole continued. "Soon the entire city realized the value of street lighting and followed his example with enthusiasm."

    If we live according to the clear light of God's Word, God will dispel the darkness and others will be attracted to the Light. —H. G. Bosch

    Now… is anyone else singing "This little light of mine"? You're welcome. LOL

    • MissyCM

      Love that word picture! Thanks!

    • ~ B ~

      Beautiful! ~ B

    • Sylvia Reeve

      Amen. Yes I’m singing This Little Light of Mine. That is so beautiful, just let God’s light shine out in my life. Pride is like a dark curtain covering a window not letting the light shine through. My prayer is that we all let Christ pull back the curtain so that His light will shine forth spilling out into the dark. <3

      • Amy J

        Love the idea of Christ pulling back the curtain. It reminds me that he will help me let his light shine. :)

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Love this story – what a perfect example! This little light of mine…..I'm gonna let it shine…..

    • Amy J

      Love this story.

    • HelenWalksinAwe

      Yes! and so much of what we read this week touches on leading by example. When our neighbors see the beauty that grows within us, despite our life's circumstances, because we are plugged in to Christ, they very well may light their own lamps. =)

  • Kelly_Smith

    Verses 13 and 14, taken in tandem, help us see why we should avoid grumbling. Let's flip them: (14) Do all things without grumbling or questioning (13) for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. The inconvenience causing your blood to boil? God is working. Financial worries? God is working. Interpersonal conflict? God is working. This shift in perspective has helped me to grumble a little less and thank God a little more. After all, He loves me enough to not leave me alone. He is working on me.

  • Love every flipping word, Lucy, right down to "you backed over my cat"! :) "Love living in a country where you have the right to vote" … Such an apropos thought in this season when we all easily get into biting matches over politics! ~ B

  • Ooh, you caught me:) I’m grumbling so often, I could be grumbling about how often I do it…I find it so, so easy to fix on the negative stuff: this lecture was horrible, the weather is annoying, the songs we sang in worship really didn’t speak to me and that last one was downright weird (it honestly was, trust me!)…
    But sometimes and probably more often than not, I’m being negative because I feel that is what is expected, because I don’t want to stand out, not because I truly feel that way. In a huge pile of things I like and am glad about, I go searching for the few things that are not the way I want them to be so I can join the choir. But In truth, you get nothing out of being negative and sometimes, I even feel it’s dishonest: If I am truly grateful about something, I should not try not downplay it to fit in better, huh?
    And I think I’m not the only person who feels that way, so maybe, if we try to keep a positive attitude and show our gratefulness, we will see others around us become more positive too!
    Thank you very much for this reminder!

  • carlybenson

    It's so true that if we can get our eyes off ourselves and onto Jesus, that gets rid of pride and allows us to live in unity with others. I love Philippians 2:13- "God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." It reminds me that this is not something we have to work up ourselves, but even the desire to live in this way comes from God.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Sooooo thankful that He is at work in me…… <3

    • MNmomma (heather)

      love the amplified version!

    • HelenWalksinAwe

      That part stood out to me too. It's just another reason to be flooded with gratitude (Thank you, Lord for drawing me near to you!) and awe filled humility (Who am I that the master and creator of the universe should take personal interest in me?!).

  • As I sat here praying on what I had just read, the words of that great and bring you to your knees hymn ..'.When I survey the wonderous Cross' flashed across my mind…especially the line …My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride…'
    To be honest as I looked up the words I realise, best part of the hymn could, if not all, could go well with this devo today… .http://youtu.be/D-mKnY2HMXg
    This hymn, no matter where I am, when I hear it, I have tears….Jesus came in human form, leaving behind who He was…to given of himself for us, the Bible says…He emptied himself….( He gave up His KIngship, His rights, His perfect life in the Heavenly realm, to live in our world, our messy, dysfunctional world…And when he did,…You'd think for who He was, there would be even a hint of pride, but no, He humbled himself, in every way, everything he did, and all He said…
    Jesus had a stronger will than I, I will never be that strong in will, but what I can do, by God's grace, is lean on Him, His word, His promises, that He will always be with me, or that he will never leave me, no forsake me, and s try to be the person He calls me to be in humility, towards my fellow man, that person He calls me to be in love, for the next man/woman…
    Thank you Lord God, that you would trust me to do your will, to be you to my fellow man,than you that you came as an example, and that you are never too far away for me to call on for help …Thank you for your gift of Love to me, and may I always Lord God in my life glorify you….Thank you for everything…in the mighty and awesome name of Jesus…Thank you .. Amen..x

    Praying our richest gain…. be Jesus…and His love this Thursday…hugs and Love, sisters….xxxx

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Amen! Praying right along with you this morning Tina. May God be with you today and bless you!!

    • Joanna

      Amen! Always floored at how much Jesus gave up…for US! Have a blessed day.

    • Lyle

      “Praying our richest gain be Jesus and His love”–praying this with you today, Tina! Thanks for reminding me of that great hymn.

  • Philippians 2:7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
    He made Himself nothing. For me, an unworthy, my Savior made Himself nothing. How can I ever equal this humility and depth of love? I love God and humble myself in contrition daily but obviously, if I am contrite, I have failed in the perfect humility of His son, Jesus. I am so thankful for His depth of love for me it is as deep as any abyss I could find myself in. As high as my most wonderful state of bliss and as wide as eternity. It is beyond human understanding because we can not produce that same extreme. I am in total awe.

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