Christian meditation is foundational to the process of hiding the word in our hearts. Beyond reading for information, meditating on scripture is about transformation. Meditation is a slow, deliberate processing of a verse or passage. Digesting and savoring the words and meaning as a wine taster does when rolling a sip of wine over the tongue to discern the many facets of flavor. Such is the art of listening to God through meditation.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
This verse is totally 180 degrees opposed to the tendency of the false self. That which is false considers the Self first. Sympathy towards others may exist, but only after satiation of the desires of the Self.
And it has to be this way. The false self is self-ish, getting value from comparison, from being first or best or having the most. Good things to others are perceived as bad things for the false self by comparison. When another self is elevated, one’s worldly self feels diminished or devalued. Something is experienced as lost.
Yet, in Christ the Self can be satisfied through truth. The truth of who we were created to be and how – without our effort – we are given righteousness before God.
With a Self that receives identity and significance without comparison, others can be considered more significant. Christ in his own humility, with an identity sustained by the Father, demonstrated this ability to consider others more significant.
He was God. He WAS more significant. He did not deserve death or scorn, but rather was worthy of the worship of those among whom he walked. But he put that away for a time.
On our account. For our needs, considering our ability to experience life more significant than his own.
The false self wants to deny this. To view humility and vulnerability and submission as weakness rather than the fruit of a strong Self in Christ.
The false self wants to throw off Christ and search for that elusive wholeness apart from God. It searches in vain, becoming enslaved to many other things.
The true self is wrapped in Christ. It can thus take unfavorable comparisons without feeling it as loss.
In the true self, humility can be experienced and displayed. Comparison is not needed to build the Self up, our value being secure in the constantly given grace of Christ.
The Self is built up through connection with God.
Others gain significance because we no longer need their affirmation, approval, or adoration. From this secure Self flows true love, mercy and compassion.
What is your response to meditating on Philippians 2:3?