Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Jesus certainly turned the world upside down when he came to earth as a man. The religious leaders of the time, the Pharisees and Sadducees, were an elite group. These leaders would have been the example of leadership that the ordinary person would see. In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus addresses some of these Pharisees, who the Bible says “looked down on everybody else”, and told a parable. This parable spoke of a Pharisee who went into the temple and prayed to God thanking Him that he wasn’t like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers or the tax collector who was beside him. In contrast, the tax collector would not even dare to come near and instead beat his chest and said “God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. Jesus taught that the latter man, rather than the Pharisee went home justified before God.
In the book of Matthew you will see Jesus’ consistent theme of humility. The dichotomy is that those that try to build themselves up, will be humbled, and those that humble themselves, God will make great. Jesus modeled out this life, being a servant to his disciples and those around him. Although he was the Son of Man, the King of Kings, he came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28).
Jesus’ humility was contagious; even the sinners and tax collectors longed to be around him, and the lessons he taught his disciples became key to the formation of the early church. Paul was a great example of a humble leader and in today’s key verse he encourages a humble attitude. The Good News Bible says “Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another…”.
As athletes you may very likely receive a great deal of praise for your accomplishments, but it is so critical to keep the mind of Christ and exemplify the heart of Christ. At the core of that heart was humility. Pray to the Lord today to show you areas of conceit in your life and ask him to turn you into a humble leader who “considers others better than yourself”.