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The secret to #joy and #contentment is #humility.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

If asked about the key to success, most people in the world would answer that it is found in self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction, or self-gratification. Of course, these premises would most likely be guised in other more acceptable and less self-centered words, but the essence would be the same. The truth is that it is human nature—“human,” not “pagan,” so this includes Christians—to seek happiness and contentment in life through means that ultimately elevate self, which is a direct result of pride and not humility. Non-Christian philosopher Allan Bloom saw this when he wrote, “Everyone loves himself most but wants others to love him more than they love themselves.” (Bloom, “The Closing of the American Mind, 1987, p. 118) Paul was warning the Philippian church that the only avenue by which they might attain true unity and joy is by humbly placing others first. A.B. Bruce wrote, “The whole aim of Satanic policy is to get self-interest recognized as the chief end of man.” (Bruce, “The Training of the Twelve,” 1897, p. 180) When we realize that our chief end is to “glorify God and fully enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism), then we are freed from the bondage of self and thereby capable of moving toward the one and only thing that will bring true joy. Our lives are not about what we can get out of them or how we can be uplifted by them. Our lives, as children of the Most High, must be about demonstrating the magnificence of our Father and in so doing finding joy that is both eternal and complete.

Study/Meditation: What does it mean in your life to place others first?

*Father, help me to see the areas in my life where I need to grow in humility. Amen.