Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
Philippians 2:3 (emphasis mine)
A simple reflection on this verse can be very enlightening. There is a clear contrast for us to consider. Either we are selfish, conceited and consumed with self, or we are humble in mind. Which means that we are self-sacrificing, maintaining a proper view of our own lives, and committed to regarding others as more important than ourselves.
Now a casual read might make us think better of ourselves than we ought, which is part of the problem. The truth is, we are all inclined to think more highly of ourselves than we should. Self-love is one of the greatest enemies that we face. After all, why can we be so easily offended if someone is unkind or cruel towards us? It is generally related to love of self. Why would we get angry when a car drives too slowly in front of us? Love of self. Why would we choose not to share the gospel when we have opportunity? Love of self.
Remember, Jesus made it clear that one of the requirements for following Him is to deny ourselves.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
We are instructed to crucify self and let Christ live through us.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
In Philippians 2 we are provided the perfect example of One who truly had humility of mind.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus demonstrated the ultimate humility. The sovereign God became a servant. And His service was to both His friends and His enemies. In fact, His obedience unto death was for the benefit of His enemies! It is really inconceivable what God accomplished through Christ, and it is equally remarkable that Christ became a servant so that we could have hope.
As God’s children, we are also to walk in humility of mind. We are to follow the example of our Lord. We are to see people as God sees them. We are to serve others in both favorable and unfavorable circumstances. Our Lord expressed His desire for us at the last supper:
“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”