Theological thoughts about the workplace
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourself.” Philippians 2:3.
The other day I wrote about my desire for the approval of others with regards to this blog. The Bible often calls this desire “pride.” Or as a contemporary dictionary defines it, “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.”
While the Bible clearly–and often–condemns pride, today’s culture encourages us to look to our achievements as a source of personal fulfillment.
So how do we maintain a spirit of humility in the achievement-driven, results-oriented modern workplace?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul challenges Christ followers to “do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Self, in the Christian life, is not primary. God is. Thus, “one’s own achievements” are not ours at all—they have been done through Him and for Him. Humility is being thankful for what God gives us. Both good and bad. Any glory we receive should be deflected off of us and on to Him. Any setbacks we encounter should not shake us when we remember all is ultimately part of God’s perfect plan. (Actually, in 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul recognizes a “thorn in his flesh” as a tool to “keep [him] from becoming conceited”! Could setbacks even be used for our good?)
“Rather in humility, value others above yourself.” Problematic with the world’s view is that nothing is ever gained solely by “one’s own achievement.” In fact, nothing in human history has ever been achieved by one individual. (This blog took the help of several people after all!) Humility is being thankful for all the people who have helped you achieve what you have. But it goes even beyond that. Humility “values others above yourself.” It means making decisions not based on what it best for us, our schedule, or our wallet; but rather, what is best for others.
When you really think about it, valuing others above yourself IS LEADERSHIP.
It is the kind that everyone applauds, but can never be found when applause is what is being sought.
For there is no true leadership without true humility.