Jesus and Equal Rights

Okay, let me begin by stating the obvious: “esteeming others as better” is not an easy practice. Not only is it difficult to do—for some—the concept may even be difficult to understand! Perhaps you hear the phrase “esteeming others better” and confuse value or worth with treatment.

If you flip over to Philippians 2:3, you'll find this instruction:

• esteem each other as “better” (KJV)
• “count others as more significant than yourselves” (ESV)
• “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (NASB)

This instruction may initially sound as though others are “more significant” or “more important” and therefore “more valuable.” But according to Genesis 1:27, we're all created in God's image and therefore all individuals are of equal value.

So, if we're all equal, why shouldn't I expect to be treated equally? Why should I “esteem someone better” than myself? Doesn't that seem a little like “inequality?”
 
The key to understanding this practice is found in Philippians 3:5-6, which point us to our supreme example: Jesus, who “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.”

Whoa. Did you get that?

The God-man, Jesus Christ did not grab for or demand His equality! Think about it—His worth, quality, and value was Deity. His value was Deity!

But He did not demand to be treated as Deity. In fact, He released His “right to be treated as God” in order to willingly take on the form of a servant. He humbled Himself to the point of death, even the most despicable form of death: death on the cross. That is humility! God on the cross.

What does this have to do with living as a True Woman? Everything.

Although all are created equal, Scripture calls us to treat others as though they are more valuable than ourselves. We must move beyond our natural inclination to demand “equal treatment” and beyond insisting on “our rights.” The call to follow Christ is the call to climb up on the cross. It is the call to humility. It is being willing to treat others with the mind and attitude Christ demonstrated when He willingly went to the cross.

How do you “esteem others as better?” What are some ways you live this out?

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women's pursuit of God's glory. She's the author of Fierce Women, and is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. She enjoys sharing with women and hearing from them about what God is doing in their lives.