Paul turns the tables on the worldly ideas of getting every done “my way” or having it all “my way.” He says we shouldn’t do anything from selfish ambition. We should never focus our energy on promoting ourselves 10 3080 hail2above others. We should not be conceited. We should think of ourselves with clear minds and not over estimate our value. It’s not “me first” in Christ’s perspective. It’s love God first and foremost. Love others next, then love of self will find its rightful place in your life. Paul says to consider others as more important than yourselves. As mentioned yesterday, too much self-esteem exaggerates our view of ourselves while depreciating our opinion of others.

Markus Bockmuehl writes: “Instead of pursuing their own prestige, that strangely addictive and debasing cocktail of vanity and public opinion, the Philippians are called to humility, the ‘lowliness of heart’ which agrees to treat and think of others preferentially.… The biblical view of humility is precisely not feigned or groveling, nor a sanctimonious or pathetic lack of self-esteem, but rather a mark of moral strength and integrity. It involves an unadorned acknowledgement of one’s own creaturely inadequacies, and entrusting one’s fortunes to God rather than to one’s own abilities or resources.”

After exhorting us to think of others as “more important” than ourselves, he then says we should also focus our attention not only on our own needs but also on the needs of others. In Philippians 2:4, we read “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Most of you will remember the great hail storm of 2014. I heard story after story of people stepping in to help others whenever they could. Having an injured arm, I was not able to do a lot to put boards over broken windows! We lost 12 windows. 11 of them were shattered through both panes! We had glass and water everywhere. A couple in our church called to see if we needed help. We did! Along with my son, they boarded up the windows, put plastic where it was needed and cleaned up glass and water. We were so grateful for the help. There were others who also called to see if they could help as well. We heard many accounts of people helping others throughout the week. It was a real life example of Paul’s exhortation for believers to look out for each other.