We are surrounded by selfish people and narcissists who think the world revolves around themselves. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when we self-sabotage or self-medicate. What if the journey to self-discovery is not found by more of self but actually selflessness.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What are ways that the “Me-Centered” cultural norms have affected your thoughts, actions, and beliefs?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Philippians 2:3-11.
a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
• Who is talking? What is the circumstance?
• Any repeated phrases?
• What surprised you?
• What stood out to you?
b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
• What questions do you have?
• Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
• What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
• What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?
c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response)
• How do you respond to what you are reading?
• How could this apply to your life today?
• What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
• Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Reread Philippians 2:3-4. Humility is not a low view of self but an accurate view of yourself. CS Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Do you have an accurate view of yourself (Your gifts, strengths, weaknesses?)? Do you lean toward thinking about yourself too highly or too lowly? Why do you think that is?
5. Read John 5:19-20. Jesus knew who He was—the beloved son, loved by God. This is the key to Selfless (Kenosis) living—do you know who you are? How would you describe how God sees you?
6. Two of the steps to self-emptying, Kenosis humility are: 1.) Get your self-worth, self-love, self-acceptance from God not by trying to prove something to the world and others. 2.) Practice dying to self (your wants/needs always being your first priority) for the sake of others. Which of these 2 steps are you most struggling with right now and why do you think that is? What would it take to take a step toward change in this area?
Philippians 2:3-11 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
John 5:19-20 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these so that you will be amazed.
1. If you’d like to learn more about Humility we have written a Spiritual Outcome (materials that our Life Groups use) that helps you explore what the Bible says about Humility and then apply that to your life. Find that resource here: https://www.gatewaychurch.com/humility/
2. If you’d like to know how you are doing at self-emptying, Kenosis humility, ask those who know and love you best! Ask them for feedback:
a. How am I doing at loving you well?
b. What are my gifts/talents? Do you see me using those to bless others (not just build up myself)
c. Do I see myself accurately (the way God sees me)? If not what am I missing?
d. How can I grow in humility?