In Humility

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others,” Philippians 2:3.

After sitting in my prayer closet today with this verse from Philippians I saw with my very own eyes a delightful sampling of it lived out as an illustration for my prayerful reflection…and now it’s offered for you too.

How was it illustrated? Well, this morning our church services were canceled due to Hurricane Irene’s descent upon our region. It appears that our neighbor’s church wasn’t taking that precaution.

As I stood by our kitchen window cleaning out the coffee pot, I first noticed one of the young boys next door leap out of the garage into the torrential rain. He was apparently testing for the rest of the family how hard the rain was falling. He had a huge grin on his face and a delightful frolic to his aerobic movements. After running back into the garage, he and his older brother reemerged in the rain and jumped into the car. A moment later, their father appeared just outside the garage holding an open umbrella. Within a few seconds, his wife (the boys’ mother) stood reflectively under the umbrella and then nodded her readiness to make their way to the car. Her husband graciously put his left arm around her back and they proceeded together to the passenger side of the car. After safely and without unnecessary raindrops falling on her head or shoulders as the door was opened, she slipped into her seat. He gently closed the door, walked to the driver’s side and off they went to church (their weekly pattern all the years they’ve been our neighbors). You get the picture.

Humility at its root is a choice of the heart to consider the humility of Christ and determine in heart, soul, mind and strength, to follow his costly example. Unselfish consideration of the needs and interests of another are the fruit of humility. The attitude of the God-honoring heart, inclined continuously toward Christlikeness, is what features life-changing service to another (from the simplest of tasks to the more onerous, challenging, pride-popping ones).

In our prayer books this past week there was a reading by Kallistos Ware that arrested me in its profundity. “At the sight of human sin (or need, my insertion), one wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide ‘I will combat it by humble love.’ If you resolve on that once for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing like it.”

In humility…consider Christ and in turn consider others better than yourselves. Leap out in the rain for another; lift up an umbrella of loving protection; guide another to safety; and don’t let selfish ambition or vain conceit ever get in the way. There is nothing else that comes close to the gracious power of humble love offered in the name of Christ. Make that your single focus today!


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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.