I was sitting in a room full of people on an ordinary day, when I suddenly realized something that appalled me.
I was taking a week-long training course for my job. There were maybe ten other people in the room. Among them was a man who was, by my own estimation, quite a bit less intelligent than me. The truth was, he just wasn’t “cool.” Everything he said and did made me want to roll my eyes.
As the week went on, to my horror, I realized that I despised this man. The ugly truth was that I considered myself to be above him. I looked down on him.
The common way of thinking
Popular thinking would say that these kinds of thoughts are perfectly normal; that we are bound to meet people in life who we don’t like, or don’t get along with, or who are just too different. But as a disciple, I don’t want to live my life according to “popular” or “common” ways of thinking. I want to live according to the will of God and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who, “being found in appearance as a man, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8.
In the same chapter Paul wrote: “… in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3.
I realized that week just how full of pride and arrogance I am by nature. It became thoroughly disgusting to me. What I saw in myself was such a far cry from what I want to be: gentle and lowly of heart as Jesus was.
But I also know that there is no reason to be discouraged by what I see in myself. Because of the way that Jesus opened when He found himself as a man, I have a tremendous hope and possibility to become a totally new person, completely changed from the way that I am. Not just a little better, not just a bit more humble, but a completely new person! One who esteems everyone higher than myself, without exception.
Becoming a new creation
I can do this by acknowledging the truth about how I am by nature, and humbling myself to the point of obedience to God’s will; to the “death of the cross.” That is, by fighting against those tendencies in the power supplied by God to all who ask. I know that the promise is divine nature for those who overcome. (2 Peter 1:4)
I’m so excited to become free from the ugly and hurtful sins that are in my nature. I’m so thankful that Jesus made it possible for me to become a completely new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.