Me First! – Week of August 29, 2022
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Me first! Anyone who’s spent even a few minutes in an early childhood center has definitely heard this sentiment at some point in time from the mouths of little ones! But in truth, it’s the default for every human; we just become better at masking it as we grow older.
“Me first!” can play out in employee situations where some employees never volunteer to take an extra shift to ease the burden of work for others, while others might often volunteer, but do so in hopes of receiving some notice or reward. “Me first!” can show itself in parents when the needs of their own child trump the good of everyone else in the building. We could go on and on with examples from working as well as living within our own personal families. By nature, our human hearts desire to put ourselves and our needs first.
Except one human heart was different: the heart of the God-Man, Jesus. The book of Philippians tells us that Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself.” Jesus is number one, over all, yet he left his heavenly home, he humbled himself, and he lived on the earth which is so filled with self-service and pride.
Philippians goes on, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross.” When God looked down at our earth and saw the truth that “there is no one who does good, not even one,” (Psalm 53) he planned a solution in the form of his very Son. Jesus came to earth and lived humbly, then even more, he died humbly for all of us, who so often do only what is best for ourselves.
And so now, we, too, strive to humble ourselves. We know all too well who we are, the sin that comes into our hearts, even if filtered out of our words and actions, each and every day. But we know, too, the forgiveness that Jesus won for us. In that forgiveness, we walk humbly as we go about our day. We work to take into account the good of others and to serve our Savior selflessly. Since Jesus has already made us number one by giving his life for us, then we have no need to push ourselves to the top or to leave others behind. Jesus has already exalted us. Now we can live for him!
Dear Jesus, thank you for showing us such selfless humility in coming to earth and living and dying in our place. In your forgiveness, help us to serve each other humbly until we stand exalted with you forever in heaven. Amen.
A Thought to Consider:
Brainstorm as many times as you can when Jesus put others first during his earthly ministry. Say a prayer thanking Jesus for his selfless love for all.