Attitude Determines Altitude

Philippians 2:5-8

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. 

I believe attitude does determine altitude, in life, in career, and in relationships. It seems to me, however, that the correlation is inverse. The less humble my attitude toward others the lower they are likely to think of me. If, however, I take on an attitude of humility and servanthood, the more likely people will look up to me. Certainly there are exceptions to these dynamics, but they they occur mostly on the part of people who have little respect for others, and whose judgment I do not respect. They are the ones who take advantage of others, and treat a weakness in others as something to be exploited. They prey on widows, the weak, and the vulnerable. A show of humility to them results in put down and further haughtiness on their part. 

Nevertheless, I seek to be humble. I’ll let those who know me best see whether they agree with my self-assessment or not. I know I don’t do it perfectly. But I do believe that an attitude of humble servanthood is best; and that partly because truly humble people are nice to be around. 

But Paul’s words in Philippians 2 remind us of a better reason: Jesus’ example and the impact of his redemptive love and servant’s attitude. Humility isn’t actually a means to an end. We don’t do it best when we seek to be honored by others because we’re so humble. We embrace an attitude of true humility best when we do so in an effort to imitate Christ, and because we believe in him and his way, and want to follow him. A humble attitude will put us in good company, worthy of a follower of Jesus.

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