My background is in public relations. I specialised in Corporate PR which meant being an expert in Reputation Management. I devised plans to help organisations become renowned in their sector. Building reputations was my job.
Making a good impression is important to most of us. The opinions of the people around us drive many of our decisions. We seek to avoid doing or saying things that will make us appear weak or foolish.
Reputation in tatters
Yet the Bible says that Jesus chose to make Himself of no reputation. It’s not just that He was uninterested in reputation, He actively pulled His apart. It’s not just that He served, He sought to be seen as a common servant.
Philippians 2:7 in the Amplified says that Jesus: “… Stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave)…”
He refused the privileges that His position afforded. He stripped Himself of anything that might make Him appear dignified. Then He took on a particular persona. The word guise refers to our general appearance. Jesus wanted to come across as a nobody.
A common slave
Jesus did not flash His intelligence in order to be admired. He did not interject into conversations to show His spirituality. He never demonstrated His power to look good. When Jesus considered His reputation, His goal was to be viewed as a servant.
Humility doesn’t mean we avoid confrontation or keep a low profile. Jesus was both assertive and famous. However, He was constantly considering the needs of others above His own. That’s the posture of a servant. They exist to make other people’s lives easier.
Titus 3:2b instructs us to: “…Show unqualified courtesy toward everybody.” I love this statement. It asks me to be kind to shop assistants who make mistakes with my bills. It expects me to be patient with waiting staff who are slow or with drivers who are rude.
It’s probably easy to be courteous towards important people. But how do we treat those that can do nothing for us? How do we humble ourselves and wholeheartedly serve ‘unimportant’ (see note below) people?
God first started dealing with my pride about five years ago. He showed me how much I loved to be admired and enjoyed impressing others. It hurt when I realised how wrong my heart was. Today, I am still on the journey, one which demands daily death and regular repenting!
There is one important prerequisite to true humility: we must first know our worth. Jesus knew He was a Son, so He could lower Himself as a servant. When I understand I am a dearly loved daughter, I can humble myself and be a nobody.
Worth comes first
If serving makes you feel like a doormat, you probably need healing. If lowering yourself confirms your dim self-image, you need to ask God to restore your self-worth. Get hold of our books and keep coming to Healed for Life until the job is done.
This Easter weekend, let’s follow in Jesus’ footsteps and seek to serve the people around us: “In the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].” Phil 2:3b Amplified. Happy Easter to you all!
*I talk about ‘unimportant’ people to help us understand our own hearts. However, the truth is that there is no such thing as an unimportant person.