Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. – Philippians 2:3
Being one in spirit and person means minimal strife in the church, even when we are very different. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (2:3, NIV), exhorts Paul.
When any hint of self-seeking or unworthy ambition motivates our actions, look out! If vainglory, which is simply a cheap desire to boast, is the best that we can manage, we shouldn’t join a church. We’d split it! In pressing toward our goals, to what extent do we use people as rungs on our climb? What happens to the people in our lives, to our Christian service, to our effectiveness as a believer?
Do we really consider others “better” than ourselves? Do we look to the interests of others before our own (Philippians 2:4)?
Why do our churches attract so much criticism? Is it not because we spend all our time fighting each other rather than fighting the devil? Why is there so much strife in the church choir? “When the devil fell out of heaven, he fell into the choir,” responds a cynic! Must we be prima donnas?
We can achieve almost anything we want if we are willing to forfeit the credit! For some of us, that will require a radical change of attitude. Voluntary humility is the hardest thing on earth to achieve. For the Christian, it must be if we are to be like him.
For Further Study: Philippians 2:1-4
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.