“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-10
I think there are two ways to look at respect, one from society’s point of view and one from the Bible’s point of view.
Society holds respect as something that is earned and deemed worthy upon a specific individual due to his particular efforts or accomplishments. However, why does it seem so unnatural for us to be able to respect just anybody from the initial get-go? The answer, I believe, is rooted in our innate nature of pride. Pride prevents us from having an unbiased perspective and leads us to subconsciously place ourselves above others. Quite simply, the very essence of pride takes satisfaction in oneself.
In contrast, the Bible portrays respect as a byproduct of humility. From the very beginning, Jesus sets the standard through his incarnation making “himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men”. The King of kings and the Lord of lords humbled himself and was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”. (Contextually, crucifixion upon a cross was regarded as the worst punishment reserved for the worst of criminals. Not only that, but also Galatians 3:13 reads, “… Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree…”).
Paul writes to the church of Philippi to regard others in humility, more significant than themselves. In other words, it is only through humility that we can learn to truly respect one another by placing others before ourselves. And as disciples, we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the humble king.
In what areas of your life does pride overshadow humility? How can I be more like our humble King this week?