November 5 – Philippians – Follow Jesus’ Example

Read Philippians 1:27-2:18

“I’m forever grateful for you” is what Joe Burrow said, through tears, to his coach, Ed Orgeron, at his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech last December which is given to the best voted college football player in the country.

I watch this ceremony every December because I am inspired by the humility, hard work, determination and, sometimes, Christian faith that I see displayed. It is such a refreshing contrast to our culture and I love to often see the humility of Jesus in people.

Joe talked about his hometown. “Coming from southeast Ohio, it’s a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average,” Joe said. “There’s so many people there that don’t have a lot and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.” He then thanked his family, teammates and everyone who helped him. He rarely used the word “I”.

Today’s reading in Philippians is easy to read and apply to our lives: how to conduct ourselves, stand firm, to not be frightened by those who oppose you, avoid vain conceit, honor others above self and try to have the same mindset as Jesus.

Humility is the source of love, Christian unity and an attitude of preferential treatment of others. It is part of being honorable as in Proverbs 15:33b, “Humility comes before honor.”

Selfish ambition is the enemy of unity and harmony.

Jesus taught that humility is a cornerstone of character and contentment.

“If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” (Luke 14:11)

Jesus made himself nothing. He had the attitude of a servant. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

There are many ways to show humility and honor other people:

  • Accept help
  • Be patient
  • Ask questions
  • Overlook mistakes
  • Forgive
  • Show compassion
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of others
  • Listen
  • Encourage
  • Find common ground
  • Respect other people
  • Open your heart

Complaining does not help much. Complaining is like throwing up; afterwards you feel better but then everyone around you feels sick.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 2:5)

This includes a love of others in our relationships.  Are you a breath of fresh air to others?

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” (Psalms 119:36)

Christ’s example is incomparable. Be in the light of Christ as He is in the light.

Tom Weckesser

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