Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- March 3, 2011
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
The value of something or someone determines its importance. For example, if a hobby is highly valued it gets attention, even to the exclusion of relational investments in a needy child. It’s easier to get lost in leisure than to face the reality of a broken relationship. But by predetermining a high appraisal of someone keeps them a high priority in hard times.
Indeed, there is a tension between our own interests and the interests of others. After all, doesn’t the Lord want us to take care of ourselves? Of course He does—but it is not by hiding behind our own issues and ambitions to the exclusion of placing others above ourselves. Humility esteems the good in others, while recognizing its own struggles.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).
Pride places a lower priority on others and a higher priority of itself. Pride does its due diligence and ranks the issues of others much lower in value than its own needs and wants. It’s only from the assumption of a humble heart that we are capable to value others as Christ values them. Jesus humbles us, so we in turn can humbly serve others.
Therefore, what interests the people in your life? What are your spouse’s interests? What do your children value? What are the personal goals of your work associates? Perhaps you do a relational audit around their interests and become intentional in helping them fulfill their needs and desires. It takes faith to first fulfill another’s agenda over yours.
Paradoxically, when we place the needs of others above ourselves, God fills in the gaps. His favor shines on servants of Jesus—who without guile—go the extra mile on behalf of those who don’t deserve extra attention. God’s favor flourishes on your life when by faith you keep your faith, family and friend’s interests in high esteem above your own. Jesus is very clear that those who place others above themselves are greatest in His kingdom.
“Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: “Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant” (Luke 22:24-26, The Message).
Who in my life do I need to understand their interests, and value them above myself?
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