Kenosis: When self-emptying becomes self-fulfilling

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Kenosis: When self-emptying becomes self-fulfilling

Welcome to Three-Peat Tuesday!

Building from my recent book UNBEATABLE! Seven Pillars of Personal Excellence, each blog will contain three P’s: Pillar, Principle and Practical, all geared towards nourishing you on your personal and spiritual growth journey.

Pillar: The model of self-emptying

“…Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant.”-Philippians 2:6-7

Principle: The goal of self-emptying

Servant. What image does this word conjure up in your mind? The options are myriad, I’m sure. Are they positive or negative mental pictures? A life to pursue or a life to be avoided?

It seems unnatural to envision a life-long goal of becoming nothing, a life where status, social standing and image preservation simply do not matter. In my ego dilemma blog, we considered that becoming less was, in fact, a noble pursuit.

Let’s be honest, though. Isn’t it more natural to want others to serve us, meet our needs and treat us in a special way? Yet, the way of kenosis says that true life is found when you empty yourself. You decide to give wholly of yourself to others, which may sometimes include those you don’t necessarily like.

Christ-followers around the globe believe in both his divinity and his humanity. He was more than a prophet or a miracle worker. He was and is the incarnate Word. And that’s the amazing thing. He left divine glory and embraced human frailty, though without committing one single sin.

This is mind-boggling! Jesus did not hold on to his position as part of the Triune God at the expense of a broken humanity. In an act of selflessness and in the most compelling display of kenotic love, he walked with us, led us, fed us, inspired us, challenged us and ultimately died for us. The epitome of self-emptying was found in the one called Son of Man.

Practical: The fruit of self-emptying

Consider how you can empty yourself this coming week in service to someone else. It will be even more special if it is someone that you don’t often spend time with.

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Michelle+Marcus

    After awhile emptying self sometimes become discouraging because you feel unappreciated. I dont know how Jesus did it. I understand why he did it. I feel it becomes challenging depending on who you are emptying yourself for. Those you love its easier but the difficulty arises for those who are much harder to love. Thanks.

  2. L. Hope Kerr

    Thanks Tyrone for nudging our hearts through these lessons you share. I can identify to some degree with what Michelle shared as I quite often find it very challenging to continually have the desire to empty myself – it can be overwhelming when the needs just seem to come on like a flood leaving me feeling helpless.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      This is so true Hope. Moving towards kenosis calls for divine strength. I cannot do this on my own.

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