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Looking Out for Others Beyond Yourself

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)


Continuing on the theme of being united together with Christ, Paul lists some negative attributes that should not be present within believers, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit.” Being selfish goes against the statements of Paul in the previous verse, where the believers were being called to think in the same way, have the same love, being united in spirit, intent on one purpose. This attitude of selfishness is not rooted in love, but rather in pride. Instead, Paul states that believers should “in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Anders states, “Instead, humility is to characterize the Christian. We are not to exalt ourselves above others.” It must all be rooted in love, for Biblical love is about being selfless. We see that in John 13:34-35, where Jesus states, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Then, in verse 4, Paul explains, “Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.” Because of our sin nature, doing things for ourselves and our own benefit is our natural tendency. Yet, Paul states in contrary to that natural tendency, look beyond yourself and your wants and desires and see how you can serve one another. Paul states this similarly in Galatians 6:2, “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” As Christ humbled Himself and took on the position of a servant, displaying what true love looks like, in the same manner, believers are called to humble themselves, and love others as Christ has loved.


Blessings,

Isaac De Guzman


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