I choose Humility.
"For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 14:11)."
Down is much easier to come by than up, but the pain that happens in the process is most of the time anything but pleasant. Gravity pulls at us all, and through strength and effort we resist it because to fall usually means scrapes and bruises. Falling is no fun. It makes you look weak and vulnerable, and it's something that most of us desperately want to avoid. But in God's upside down kingdom the opposite is true.
Jesus didn't arrive as a giant among men but as a child in a manger. God could have arranged a castle and guards for him, but he didn't even have a room. He could have had a wealthy endowment, yet he was a poor carpenter. This lowly position, which to the world might sound weak and pathetic, is really heavenly and eternal. Humility is the foundation of all righteousness.
The counterintuitive nature of taking last place is actually the remedy to all our anger, frustration, and bitterness. All of our self-protection and self-promotion comes out of our search for and/or belief in our own significance. But when we accept the notion that others matter more than we do, we are freed up from the competition of life. Choosing humility sets us free from the bondage of sin that attempts to raise us up on our own strength rather than the strength of the Holy Spirit that is within us.
In all he did, Christ was obedient to the Father, taking the position of servant, which was, in the eyes of the world, the lowliest position one could hold. What remains for us, therefore, is the obedience that Christ exemplified. Nothing could be more backward in today's culture than choosing humility.
I am chosen by God and I choose humility. If Jesus could get low and serve, so should I. I admit it, Lord—that’s hard for me. Help me embrace this new reality that down is up and realize that it's not something you can do for me it's something that I have to choose for myself.