“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
Let me just say, after reading this one verse in Philippians, a dagger went straight into my heart. Moments before I began reading the word in my quiet time this morning I prayed for Jesus to reveal to me where in my heart I am least like Him…and He delivered just like He always does.
Right now I am in my 4th year of medical school and getting ready to begin the “slightly” stressful residency application, interview, and match process. During this process I will compete against some of the best students and brightest minds in the country to obtain a position to further my training in a certain field of medicine. This whole process and culture of medicine glorifies being the best, having the best grades, having the top scores, and essentially trying to exalt yourself to the very top. Everyone tries to get an edge on each other, which makes for the culture to be a very dog-eat-dog world. I wish I could say that as a follower of Christ I haven’t succumbed to stooping to this level, but I am pretty sure it is near impossible not to get caught up in it at some point. I catch myself daily saying I did this, I did that, I am way better than that person, I deserve this/that… look at me, look how awesome I am! If you think about it, you probably thought the same things at your job or school as well!
Amazingly there is a God that “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and humbled himself”…and His name is Jesus. He did not self-exalt even though He could have easily done so. He did nothing out of selfish ambition. He could have easily come down to earth as a god, but chose the complete opposite. He humbled himself to the lowest of lows and you know what happened? He was exalted by God to the highest of highs and his name now reins above all names!
This verse is a challenge to be completely different than the culture we are fully immersed in. Instead of trying to out-do everyone and put our name on the pedestal, we must consider others better than ourselves. Think about a culture where everyone puts others before there own selfish pride. Think about what it would be like to work in a place or go to school where humility is the standard and not selfish ambition. Pretty cool to imagine that, right? I don’t know about you, but I am FIRED up thinking about it. It is time to put aside my own selfish ambition in a culture of pride, re-route my ways of thinking or acting as if I should be superior to others, and let Jesus’ name get all the glory, not my own.