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October 17 – Live with lowliness of mind

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” – Philippians 2:3 

Scripture reading: Philippians 2:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:18-25

Having a humble heart as a Christian is vitally important to the life of the church. It is through humility and selflessness that oneness in the church is encouraged, as Paul shows us in vs.1-2. Often, however, “selfish ambition or conceit” clouds our vision and instead of encouraging unity and peace, it leads to division! For “selfish ambition and conceit” reflects the sinful desire to have what belongs to our neighbour, and with that, a false sense of superiority over them, where we look at others as inferior to ourselves.

But Paul says that instead of cultivating that kind of arrogant attitude, we are to be clothed with a “lowliness of mind”, that is, with a humble, realistic view of ourselves. For we are sinners saved by grace and not of our own doing! We have nothing to boast about or gloat over, especially, in looking down on our fellow believers. Instead, we are to see our neighbours through the eyes of faith, putting their needs and interests ahead of our own. For as we will see in vs.5-8 this was the way of our Lord Jesus Christ, that faithful Servant, Who humbled Himself to greatest depths for our salvation!

Yes, Jesus has left us with an example that we are to follow. We are to have “lowliness of mind”, a humble spirit and a life that will foster oneness and unity in the church, thereby providing a powerful witness to the world.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for this spirit of lowliness in the hearts of Christians. Pray that the Holy Spirit would root out any selfish ambition or conceit from us so that we might live the sincere, heartfelt Christian life that is a blessing to the church.

Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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