First Things First: The Interest of Others

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Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Philippians 2:4

 


Mr. Matthew Pannkuk – Chaplain, Bible Teacher

This semester we are going to go through some of the well known and key verses in the book of Philippians.

 

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

 

I have found that verses 3-4 are perhaps the most practical and pragmatically helpful verses in the entire Bible on how to love one another.  How do you serve someone, sacrifice for them, care for them?  You look to their interests, and consider those interests just as significant, or more so, than your own.  It’s not easy to do that, but it makes for a relatively simple way to know what we are supposed to do.

I used to find verses 1-2 a bit superfluous, even unnecessary.  Yet an article I read last year showed me the danger of skipping these verses.  If we only think about what we must do, it can be quite draining and tiring.  The fuel and strength to follow through on God’s requirements for us come only through God himself.

If we are not encouraged by Christ, if we are not comforted by his love, not participating in the Spirit, feel no affection or sympathy from our LORD, then our energy to put others first will quickly fade away.  Maybe a strong sermon will bring back some effort, or a guilt trip might push you to work harder.  Yet this is not a sustainable way to serve.  Even if it provides enough spark to keep moving forward, you will feel drained, depleted, and ultimately resentful.

Okay, so how do we derive our motivation from Jesus instead of from something else?  The answer is given in verse 5.  This way of thinking and living is already ours because we are in Christ Jesus!  The same mind that caused our Lord and Savior to put the interest of others above his own is available to all believers because we are united to Christ.

 

How will you put the interest of another ahead of your own this week?

How will you meditate on the mind of Christ to help you not just begrudgingly but happily count others as more significant?

 

 


Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church

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