Emptying ourselves

Date: Friday, October 19

ScripturePhilippians 2:1-13

Verse: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

Sometimes I wonder if I’m selfish. I often guard my time, my money, my agenda, my stuff, my dreams, my everything. I get cranky when I feel out of control and others are dictating my actions to me. I know it is unhealthy to think little of myself, but I hear Jesus’ call and wonder if too much of my focus is on me.

This passage in Philippians is a reminder to follow Jesus’ example of selflessness. Jesus emptied himself, talking the form of a slave, humbling himself all the way to the cross, to save us. We are to empty ourselves, not looking to our “own interest, but to the interests of others.”

We have been taught differently. We 21st century Americans know mentally healthy people have a good sense of self, set emotional boundaries, self-differentiate. Unhealthy, codependent, enmeshed people lose themselves in others. We read this passage as if it is a call to be unhealthy. It is not. Jesus does not want us to be holy doormats.

Jesus does though, call us to a different standard. We are not made great by “looking out for number one.” Instead, we become great when we put ourselves aside to serve Jesus by serving others.

Prayer: Teach me, O God, what it means to empty myself. Make me more aware of the needs of others. Amen.

Action: Put your schedule aside and invite a friend to coffee, just to talk about whatever is on his or her mind.


About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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