Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
History and Context:
For a brief history on the letter to the Philippians go to God Shall Provide. The one thing I do want to mention here is the purpose of Paul writing this letter was to thank the church in Phillipi for sending help with Epaphroditus in Paul's time of need. Of course Paul also took the opportunity to teach and encourage in the Lord.
There are two key qualities Paul is preaching in this text: unity and humility. He says we need to be of one mind and in one accord. Then he says in order to do this we can't do anything through selfish motives and we must put others above ourselves. He's pointing out the connection between these two qualities. If I am always looking for my best interest, than my church, organization, family, community, etc. will not have unity. In order to be unified we must all be looking towards the same goal. In the next few verses Paul brings it a step further and shows us how Jesus, Himself, took the form of a servant:
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men."
When we think ourselves as too good to serve, we have not only attempted to put ourselves above the people around us, we have attempted to put ourselves above Jesus, and God Himself.
Be looking today for opportunities to serve. Look for an opportunity to put someone else's interest over your own. Maybe you find an opportunity to by lunch for a homeless person, maybe you buy the coffee for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive thru, or maybe you simply take time to listen to someones problems when you would rather watch your favorite movie. There are unlimited possibilities of how you can take this challenge, but to truly take it, it has to be a sacrifice. It's not putting other's interests, above your own unless your own are sacrificed. As always, I would love to hear your story of how you took this challenge and what the results were.
Lord, help me to see these opportunities and not get caught up in my own business or my own needs. Help me to make that decision to sacrifice my own interests in order to look out for someone else's. Help me to be a servant, even as you were an example of a servant on this earth. In Jesus' name, Amen!