Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
This scripture just reminds me of what a long, long, long way I have to go. Yes, I realize it is a journey but I do long so to reach this sort of destination in my own spiritual formation. To totally humble my "self" ... to put others always before me ... to follow God wherever He leads me ... to be one that Jesus and Paul and many others who have gone before us can look at and say "that is why I did what I did." To shine like a bright star in a dark, dark world.
Of the people you know, who best embodies this sort of Kingdom living?
Folks who are in addiction recovery look at things one day at a time ... just making it through each 24 hour period without relapse.
My addiction is to my "self" and to my own humanity. Doing things "my" way instead of God's way. Trying to lead instead of follow. Not putting others consistently before myself.
Can I commit to a Kingdom life a week at a time? A day at a time? An hour at a time?
As Paul points out later in Chapter 2, it is only through the encouragement of Christian community that we really have any hope of recovering from our "selves".