By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
We are going to find ourselves in situations where we believe we are submitting to someone who knows less than us. This is not easy by any means and that is part of the reason we are expected to esteem others higher than ourselves on a regular basis. There are no caveats, carve outs or exclusions; we are to esteem everyone who is not us, greater than ourselves.
Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV): Do nothing from rivalry 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.
This is one of the greatest traits of children. To their benefit, children spend their childhood life submitting to another’s oversight. If they participate in sports, they have coaches; if they attend a school, they have teachers; they also have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
1 Peter 5:5 (NIV): In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
The reason Christ finds it important for us to esteem others over and beyond ourselves… is because they are. If we remain humble and open to learning, everyone will be able to teach us something. For example, we can learn about the beauty of the Old Testament from Jews, the importance of sharing the word of God from Jehovah Witnesses, and the value of tradition from Catholics. We can learn humility from children, repentance from a new born Christian, and the wisdom of the Bible from an Elder. When we look at anyone and esteem them lesser than ourselves, we must be careful to remember we have all fallen. Jehovah’s esteem for us is so great that He sent His only begotten son to die for us while we were still sinners. Jesus Christ esteemed us so extensively that He lived the lowly life of a human and was tortured and crucified for our sins. So how can we not look at believers and unbelievers greater than ourselves? Is it possible for us to believe the differences between us and another person are greater than the differences between us and God?
Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV): He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
Love and humility is the recipe for us to cherish and honor others above ourselves. If we are missing either, the task will be too difficult to accomplish.
Romans 12:10 (NIV): Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.