Gleanings – But Occasionally I Want to Talk About ME!

Philippians 2:1-13

He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself.’

For those prepared to plumb the depths of the human condition this Lent, this is a good word. Strike that. It is a great word. Rejoice that it comes to us just days before Ash Wednesday.

Why? Because the more we discover about ourselves, the more amazing it is that God in the person of Christ Jesus would come and dwell among us. Self-examination certainly has the power to lead to such discovery. As a newlywed friend once told me, marriage has the ability to reveal just how selfish one is. Well Lent and the ensuing self-examination have the ability to reveal selfishness and a whole lot more.

Let’s start here: “but in humility count others better than yourselves.” Others reflecting fairly upon my teaching would say I am good at proclaiming this. I wonder though how good I am at living it. I am reasonably well-educated (note I didn’t say smart). I have managed to earn 3 degrees over the years. I believe education makes a difference. But how in my mind can I prevent “different” from becoming better? And “equal” I get but “better!” Hmmm.  Pride is the enemy of humility.

And emptying one’s self for the welfare of others is what Jesus did but is that the mind I should have in me? “Yes,” Paul says. How are we to do that? Toby Keith gets me:

I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeee (me,me,me,me-background singers)
I wanna talk about me (me,me-background singers)

We revert to form. Occasionally we need to make it about us.

Yes Lent and self-examination reveal selfishness and a whole lot more I would rather not admit. Here is the great word for us willing to embrace Lent. There is One who made it about us. Even being equal to God did not prevent him from living and dying for the welfare of others including me. The more I get to know myself, the more amazing that kind of grace becomes.

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