Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. ... Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who...made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:3-7 NIVTwo days ago I wrote about finding my worth in being “the best” and have been giving a lot of thought to and prayer about that. This morning my study took me to the passage above. Unknowingly, I have been living much of my life out of selfish ambition. What else would you call not feeling worthy unless I’m the best? My ambition has been to feel worthy, acknowledged and valued—very selfish and self-focused.
Jesus, on the other hand, is eminently worthy of all praise and adoration and yet he gave up that right and emptied himself of all apparent worth to come and live among us. He did the very opposite of what I have been doing: I have been grasping for worthiness and he gave his up. It’s a sobering thought.
Father, in the security of knowing who he was and his value to all creation, Jesus had no need to prove himself of worth either to himself or to others. He simply lived his life confidently out of that knowledge and let people accept or reject him as they chose. Why can’t I do the same? Why do I have this strong compulsion to demonstrate my worth and value? Why do I seem unable to live in confidence that I have worth and value simply because you made me.
You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Even though my conception and birth were not wanted, you wanted me. You created me and all your works of creation are wonderful. You saw my unformed body and took pleasure in my being. You planned who I would be and you formed and fashioned all my days—the days I enjoy and the ones I wish never existed. I am precious to you! You wrap your arms around me and you hold me. You whisper your love into my ear and promise to never let me go. It doesn’t matter if others value me because your thoughts about me matter more than the adulation of all I encounter. You are incredible, and I love you. So be it.
[My prayer borrows heavily from Psalm 139.]