Making our joy complete
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:3-5
The admonition from the text is to have the same attitude that Jesus did who humbled himself and became a servant to others. As a result of his humility, God highly exalted him. You are probably thinking that this is easier said than done. Yet, Jesus, himself, said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). Biblical love is selfless. The opposite of this kind of love is selfishness. Humility does not mean putting ourselves down but rather lifting others up. It is realizing that selfish ambition and vain conceit have no place in the Christian life. Such characteristics rise from pride, not from love. Instead, humility is to characterize the Christian. We are not to exalt ourselves above others. The problem is that looking out for our own interests comes naturally. We need and receive no instruction for that. From our text, we are commanded to look out for the interests of others. We are to keep an eye out to discover ways we can help others even when they do not see they need such help. The apostle stated the same principle in Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Then he proceeds to give the greatest example for Christians to emulate. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the greatest example of humility, love, and selflessness. Christ’s model brings to life Paul’s words. As believers and children of God, we are to have the same attitude as Christ, one of humility. Paul expresses the same thought in Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” All believers should share this humble, selfless mindset of Christ. We have to think the same way as the Lord Jesus Christ; “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave” (Philippians 2:6-7). Our experience of having Christ in our lives gave us a new sense of joy by humbling ourselves and to give priority helping others.
Noel De Guzman