Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Paul is going to address his main concerns for the Philippian church.
Selfish ambition and empty conceit are the two chief dangers facing the Philippian church from within.
Do nothing from selfish Ambition
Selfish ambition tends to quench the Holy Spirit.
People build factions trying to get people on their side
They emphasize areas where they know that people already disagree.
And pretty soon the truth gets lost. It becomes more about showing everyone that the other group is wrong than about finding the truth from God’s Word!
But these dividing kinds of sins: strife, disputes, dissensions, factions and envying cause damage to the Church!
Some translations call empty conceit vainglory.
A man who’s had a close encounter with God is a humble man.
The Biblical view of humility, and pressing into God in prayer will combat pride.
Humility of mind
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.Romans 12:3
As Christians, we’re supposed to live no longer to please ourselves, but to please God.
6 Questions to Consider:
- Do I know when my pride sneaks it’s way into my conversation? When am I most vulnerable to talk too much about myself?
- If I have “the gift of gab,” how much of my gabbing is all about me? Am I keeping others from talking simply because I am filling up the conversation?
- Do I have a sensible assessment of who I am in Christ? What are my gifts, skills, abilities and contributions to the body of Christ? How can I re-think and transform my language to be less about me and more about Him and others?
- If I tend to diminish or degrade myself, how can I see myself the way Christ has made me? Do I understand I have something to offer others?
- What are several good questions I can learn to ask of others – rather than having to “make conversation” or fill the air in the room?
- Can I reduce my use of I, me, my and mine in conversations with God and man?
Regard one another as more important than yourselves
Humility of mind comes first.
We ARE rewarded for what God does for us. We ARE NOT rewarded for what we do for ourselves. We ARE rewarded for what we do for others (God working through us).
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes!