“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3,4
In the letter to the church at Philippi, Paul addresses some specific concerns throughout the letter. The church, as most churches, was facing some issues.
The members of this church had shown a tendency towards disunity and contentiousness. These issues were prevalent in Paul’s day, and they are prevalent in our day.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to unity with those in the church! This seems so simple, yet so often is a struggle. God never demands uniformity, but He does demand unity. God desires for His people to get along. God desires for His people to love each other. Christ prayed in John 17 that His people would be unified.
Philippians 2 gives us our example of unity and acceptance. In verse 3, Paul teaches us the cause and the cure for the discord. The cause is pride. The reason there is contention is due to an improper view of ourselves. Where there is a discord problem, there is a pride problem. Where there is contention, arguments, and fleshly debate, there is pride. Where there is sin, there is pride. Pride can only bring about contention; its roots can only produce destruction.
As followers of Christ we are called to: “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” What a statement! We are to put others before ourselves. This is not natural for our flesh, this is not popular in our culture, but this is what Christianity is all about – being Christ-like. Putting that other person before ourselves. Putting their needs before my own needs. This sounds great, until someone takes our seat at church! Or, someone cuts you off in traffic. Your natural man wants to react, wants to get even, or wants to be first. God has called us as we follow Him to get low, to serve, to humble ourselves, and to put others first. We are to view that brother or sister better than ourselves. We are to prefer others – to serve them. God wants us to count that other person more significant than ourselves.
Ask yourself today, am I following Christ with a lowliness of mind, as I prefer them over me? Who can you show “lowliness of mind” to today?