(extra)ordinary wk 6
We talked this week about humility and the role is played in the Andrew’s life as well as our own. Over the next week, we’ll dig into that same text and see how we can grow to be more humble, and what comes from that decision.
“Do nothing of selfish ambition or conceit.”
We think about ourselves a lot. The majority of our decisions and energy go to ourselves (directly or indirectly). We live our lives mostly consumed with self preservation and self interest at the center of what we do, and in this passage about having a mind like Christ did, we see this can no longer be the case.
Selfish ambition is simply put, decisions that propel you forward at the cost and loss of others. It’s the decisions where you crush someone else to accomplish your own victory. You see this in the workplace all the time. When a new benefit, a new parking space, or a new promotion comes up we see this best. People will claw, scratch, and commit treason to make sure they get it. Our entire work culture is driven by a deep sense of selfish ambition and pride. “Pulled myself up by my own boot straps” is one of many phrases we use to show how we accomplished and we did it all by ourselves. There is no sense of community or shared effort, only individualism. Selfish ambition.
Conceit comes from accomplishing your selfish ambitions. It’s the puffed up and prideful attitude that boasts in one’s accomplishments and loses all sympathy, or empathy, for someone else’s struggle. We know we did what we set out to do, and have no pity for those who are struggling to accomplish their own goals as well. We lose empathy and compassion and we become inflamed with arrogance and a callous heart. People lose their value if they don’t perform when you find yourself subdued to conceit.
As we’ll learn in a few weeks, this isn’t what we learned in Christ. This wasn’t his example, his commision, or his command for those who follow him. Jesus called us to care for the poor, to show love to the lowly, and to have compassion on those around us.
The first step in finding a place of humility then is to simply admit the problem, our own selfish ambition and conceit. So what’s yours? Where do you push others down to get yourself ahead? When do you cut someone else apart to better your own standing? Where have you grown callous to the suffering of people? Where have you grown arrogant in your own accomplishments and are therefore unsympathetic to those who haven’t achieved yet? Take some time this week and truly ask God to root these things out in your life. Find the places where selfish ambition and conceit are keeping you from having the same heart and mind Jesus did.