Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
It’s human nature to want to be served. Selfishness was a primary reason that Adam and Eve ate the fruit (Gen. 3). Like us, they were more concerned with getting than giving, and with being served than serving.
Serving doesn’t come naturally, but that should not stop us. As followers of Christ, we are not called to live only by what we feel or see around us but instead by who and what we know. Who we know is Jesus, who humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death on a cross so that we might live. What we know is that there were people who didn’t appreciate Jesus’ sacrificial life. There are still people today who don’t value Jesus’ life and death. But Jesus wasn’t worried about His rights, because He knew His rights on earth were secondary to the glory of God in heaven.
Sometimes when you serve, people don’t notice. Other times, they notice, but they don’t care. Serving is about selflessness. Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us that serving is not about us. We should be ready for our good deeds to not matter to other people, sometimes even the very people we serve. But we don’t serve to be appreciated by other people. We serve because Jesus served us, He is our example, and we believe that people matter. The only way to truly live for Jesus is to serve other people.
- What is your initial, gut reaction to these two verses?
- Do you see yourself as a servant? Why or why not?
- Thank Jesus that He does nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility counted us better than Himself when He went to the cross on our behalf. Ask Him to help you learn to look out for the interests of other people ahead of your own.