Humility values others above ourselves and looks out for their interests over our own. That’s the mindset of Jesus. And most people probably don’t get this right. We are often more concerned with what others think of us rather than thinking about them…
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus
I just went to my 30th year high school reunion. A few of us agreed that this was the best so far. People seemed to be more comfortable in their skins than we had ever been before. That helps. There were a few people who I don’t remember. Not many, yet there are always a couple who seem unfamiliar, often because they moved away or moved into town only for graduation.
One of these mystery schoolmates spoke to another woman at the event (who didn’t recognize her) and told her she was mean back in high school. I heard the story the next morning when we were having breakfast at a local restaurant. I wasn’t too friendly with her back in school, although I am not sure she was mean. Maybe she was, yet as I sat next to her at breakfast, 30 years later, I didn’t think it was cool for mystery girl to dredge it up at the reunion. To what end?
I offered that I think we were all trying to be the best people we could be at the time, trying to figure it out as teenagers. I was trying to be generous. My new friend answered, “I wasn’t trying to be the best person I could be. I was totally focused on myself…” Well, that’s good self-reflection.
This got me thinking about Philippians 2 and the need for more humility. Not 30 years later, but the first time around. Humility values others above ourselves and looks out for their interests over our own. That’s the mindset of Jesus. And it’s not the mindset of most teenagers. Even 30 years later, most people probably don’t get this right.
I had a similar epiphany talking to another classmate whom I had known, but not that well. I found out at the reunion that his parents didn’t live with him when he was in school with us. He was living with his older brother the whole time. How did I not know? Well, I didn’t know because I was probably more concerned with what he thought of me than I was with thinking about him.
I don’t wish I could go back to high school, yet if I could whisper into my own teenage ear, I’d say, “Think less of yourself. Focus more on others.” Not only will we be acting with the same mindset as Christ, we’ll have more friends. People love talking about themselves, so when you show interest in them, it’s easy to make friends.
I hope to have another 30 years to keep learning these life lessons, and I hope to take on the mindset of Christ more and more each year…