Sometimes the Lord has to ‘hit me over the head’ for me to see something…lol. When I was going over this scripture I had to stop when I understood it’s true meaning…it really blew me away!
Phil: 2: 3 but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
Today, the original language is so easily available online, it’s so cool to see what Paul was actually teaching. Humility in our lives is about building others up in the Lord. I was amazed at his insight.
-He starts out saying ‘in lowliness of mind’ . The Greek word is (tapeinophrosynē) ‘midsection of mind’ or having your attitude below someone else-not esteeming oneself above others. Before he taught about leadership, life, or anything….he says we must live our lives with a humble attitude of seeing others as above ourselves. Leadership, achievements, goals in life cannot be fruitful unless this comes first…our ‘qualification’ for everything else.
Note: As mentioned later, lifting others up does not mean we put ourselves down. Paul mentions above, ‘midsection of mind -attitude’, not a ‘footstool’ as in Heb. 1:13
-esteem others.…the Greek (hēgeomai) here is actually leadership (governor, ruler). To rule, lead and command others. We can acquire, build, seek after leadership (and even ask God for abilities in the area) but only after we realize the purpose of leadership is to build others up through humility…a qualification that ‘is prior’ to becoming a leader
-better than themselves.…again, the original language sheds some light on this. It is incorrect to ‘put yourself down’ and have others think they are better than you….through faith in Christ we are ‘sons of the Living God’ Rom 8:14.
The Greek compound word is (hyperechō)-combining the words ‘above’ and ‘hold’ others. The final act of leadership ‘by’ humility is holding someone above yourself. How beautiful. A whole life lesson in a half a verse. This one will be forever ‘highlighted’ for me.
Paul is simply saying….Life starts with humility-placing others in high regard in life. Having an attitude that someone’s life has greater importance than our daily affairs-it is ‘higher up’ than ours. Without this ‘life attitude,’ we can never be true leaders. With this in place, we can start to develop our leadership traits-asking God to make us courageous, have a single purpose of mind, ability to fairly discipline etc.
Finally, as we lead we should have the attitude of ‘holding’ others ‘above’ ourselves-as we walk through life. There is nothing in the act of humility that ‘puts us down’ or devalues our lives in Christ. Again, we are heirs to His divine Kingdom Rm. 8:17, Gal. 4:7.
I keep thinking of an example of ‘holding others up’ as a child. When swimming, I enjoyed walking on the bottom of the pool, and the only way to accomplish this was to have another person on my shoulders-keeping me down. In my mind, I was not ‘putting myself down’ but allowing others to be lifted up. This act benefited both of us and we both had a lot of fun. God gives grace to the humble, everyone is helped if we go through life lifting up others James 4:7.
Simple but totally amazing how Paul put this life lesson together in a handful of words. Please also see He must increase, I must Decrease
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