If someone were to say the word “Hallmark,” usually cheesy Christmas movies or greeting cards may come to mind. The word itself, however, means “the defining quality or characteristic of an object.” So when I say “humility is the hallmark of a Christ-follower,” I mean it should be what defines us. Why? Because Christ Himself was humble. Some naysayers may say “Well, didn’t Jesus flip over tables, chase people with whips, and pronounce woes on Pharisees?” I’d say He absolutely did those things, yet humility still was His defining characteristic. He could have come demanding His way. He is God, after all! And yet, He took on human skin, was born (though of a virgin) as one of us, grew as one of us, lived as one of us (though without sin), and died as one of us. Everything He did was in obedience to the Father, to fulfill the covenants with God that humanity could not. None of Jesus’ life was about Himself, even the places He became angry, and in so humbling Himself, according to 2 Philippians, God gave Him the name above all names.
Loved ones, if we follow Jesus, we, too must humble ourselves. We must not act arrogantly, but instead make our lives about obedience to Jesus, as His life was about obedience to the Father. We must seek His will in everything we do, seek to follow the Scriptures, and especially to imitate Christ, but we should not argue about high and lofty opinions and positions that mean nothing in the course of eternity. Too often, we take up positions about minor things and get so caught up in our positions, we either alienate brothers and sisters in Christ and new converts, or we make them worse than ourselves! That is not to say we should accept heresies, by no means! Jesus flipped tables because people were hindering the worship of God, after all! We should stand firm for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, but in doing so, walk in humility, as Jesus did, Loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Walk in humility and love, submitting to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit and by His word.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.