And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
I think I had this verse wrong. When I thought about Christ’s humility, I always focused on his death, “even death on a cross”! I expected humiliating death to be the focus of this verse. Therefore, I had always minimized what I now understand the verse to maximize. The ultimate humility wasn’t simply the cross, it was the obedience. The verse says it plainly. “He humbled himself by becoming obedient...” Jesus’s humility was such that he obeyed, even when the request was death.
If humility were to consist in “making myself low,” I would still be “making myself.” This element of self, even in the lowliest of acts, plants the seed of pride. I know all too well that it is futile to flee pride in acts that look humble. Everyone likes the guy who takes out the trash. When my boss asks me to pick up trash, I no longer feel so humble. Becoming obedient suddenly takes away all my ability to boast, especially when my will grates with the will of him whom I am obeying. Who can look at a leader and say, “not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Our culture cringes at the thought of obedient humility. Tell someone that you strive for obedience. They will most likely enlighten you with encouragements to find yourself, express yourself, assert yourself, be yourself, and love yourself. Don’t just obey for obedience’s sake! What could possibly be more miserable?
Do I want the joy of a humble life?
Obey the boss. (Colossians 3:22)
Obey the professor. (Hebrews 13:7)
Obey the parents. (Ephesians 6:1)
Obey the government. (Romans 13:1)
Obey the pastor. (1 Peter 5:5)
Obey the Living God.