Why are people so unkind?

Kamahl famously said, ‘Why are people so unkind?”

Why do we fight? Not just countries, not just political parties, but us – you and me!

In Philippians 2 Paul answers this question. He draws us to an interesting point, that our fighting is caused by ‘vain conceit’. Vain conceit is from a Greek word which essentially means ‘glory starved’ or empty of glory. In other words we have this never ending need to see ourselves as glorious, significant or to be respected by other people. So have you ever been offended by:

  • The lack of respect from other people?
  • The fact you aren’t given opportunities or weren’t promoted?
  • Your sense that people should acknowledge how hard you work?

These (and more) come from that part of us which is glory starved. And it causes us to fight and sometimes lash out, to overwork, sulk or be prideful – to do whatever it takes to get the attention we believe is belonging to us. So what is the answer?

In this amazing passage in Philippians we find that Jesus who was full of glory made himself ‘nothing’. He chose the path of humility. He emptied himself of the glory due him so that we could receive glory. But the glory that we receive comes not from people from God himself through Jesus. God sees us as glorious when we accept his son.

Our only hope is to see our glory as coming from some place totally different from others and receive praise from  someone bigger than us, the praiseworthy – God. Spend more time considering the majesty of what Jesus did and his value on you and less time thinking about yourself. Then we spend our life giving to others (emptying ourselves) in the same way Christ gave to us.

*Source: Thoughts taken from Tim Keller message  “Incarnation”

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