Purging oneself of pride and self-absorption is a job all by itself, but the Bible tells us we should take things to the next level by esteeming and caring for others over ourselves. “What? Don’t talk about my accomplishments AND shower others with glory?” You heard right, but don’t blame me, because I didn’t say it. This brings us to our key text coming out of Philippians 2:3 — 4 (KJV). The Word of the Lord reads:
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of the others.
In this passage, Apostle Paul is teaching the Philippians about selflessness and humility. In modern words he is saying, “Don’t just do things for a pat on the back. Do things to serve a cause or a need, and keep your pride out of it. Instead of looking for recognition from others, try looking around and telling someone else that they did a job well done. Furthermore, set aside being self-absorbed and see about others’ needs sometimes.”
It is important for us to realize that we can be self-absorbed and not even be fully aware of it. How could that be? By golly, we’re the ones who live our lives, and we have needs every day of the week. How can we not think about ourselves? “My kids need new clothes. My car needs fixing. My bills are past due.” Could we be so wrong for focusing on these things? After all, those needs do need to be met right? “Isn’t it selfless enough that each year my family and I donate clothes to the needy and drop coins into the Salvation Army buckets during Christmas time?” The Lord knows all of that. God’s call for us to look after others and praise others more than we worry about ourselves is not a call to self-neglect but a call to faith. In short, take care of others while God takes care of you.
Instead of mulling over our need to hear “job well done” or our need for the car to be fixed, we should be taking time to encourage someone else. Tell someone else that they cooked really awesome pastries for the church picnic instead of fishing for compliments on how well you organized it. Ask someone else how they are doing and what you can do to make their life easier rather than swamping people with your own woes. Brag on the incredible skills or talents of a friend rather than your own. Could you do that? This is totally contrary to what society says we should do, but if we were to actually exercise the attitudes of selflessness and humility, there would be more than enough love to go around and everyone would win.
Have a blessed day!
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