“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
I’ve read this passage various times in my life and every time I read it, it wows me all over again.
This principle of servant leadership looks strange to most of the world. The Kingdom of God permits that the lowest will ultimately be exalted. The humble will reap great rewards. Those who put themselves last and serve to not be seen are the ones who God looks upon and delights in. He is attracted to humility. He is drawn to a heart of meekness.
There is much to be said about the example that Jesus set for us. We could study His words, parables, stories and teachings our entire lives (and many have) and probably never grasp the fullness of it all. However, He set the ultimate example simply in the way that he lived His life on this earth. To study His life and works is to learn of His humble ways and of His full submission to His father’s will.
Jesus exemplified servant leadership. He knew the key to greatness was to become the lowest of the low. He bowed so low that he was nearly unrecognized as the one who was the fullness of God. He lived a life of humility and traded his garments of holiness to take on garments of flesh.
He never walked around “parading” himself. Rather, He said, “I do not honor myself”. He never coerced people to follow Him. He never manipulated. He only served. His posture of servant leadership was inherent within Him. He led by His quality of life and out of the depth of His genuine compassion and love for others. He made the ultimate sacrifice and with immense strength and dignity, He looked death square in the face and walked serenely towards it.
Jesus understood the blessing that accompanies meekness and he lived His life in that manner. He knew that to be exalted to the highest place, you must first take the lowest place. This is the mind which must be in us. Like Christ, we must seek to become the servant of all and make ourselves of no reputation. We must serve from a place of meekness, a place of true humility. Humility that requires no honor.
I once heard someone say, “The branches that bear the most fruit hang the lowest” and I never forgot those words or the mental picture that it gave me.
A life of true humility will be that of lowliness and will truly bear fruit.
This will forever be the only way to true greatness.