- "Do nothing out of selfish ambition (selfishness/self gain) or vain conceit (empty pride/vain opinion about oneself/desire of praise, attention, or admiration)." "Whereas selfish ambition pursues personal goals, empty conceit seeks personal glory and acclaim. The former pertains to personal accomplishments; the latter to an over inflated self-image. Understandably, a person with such conceit considers himself always to be right and expects others to agree with him. The only unity he seeks or values is centered on himself." (MacArthur) Paul wanted us to realize that in order to have unity (having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind as stated in verse 2), we must get rid of self-centeredness and pride. Preoccupation with self destroys the unity among the Body of Christ. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Galatians 5:25-26)
- "Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."--Humility is the antidote for vain conceit and consideration for others is the antidote for selfish ambition. We should not focus on our needs & significance and be completely absorbed by our own concerns. Instead, we should be thoughtful and considerate of others and seek to meet the needs of others. "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" (1 Peter 5:5b) "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10) In love and humility, we see others as worthy of preferential treatment and we want the best for them. True humility is about self-denial. A truly humble person yields himself/herself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he/she is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. To put others above ourselves is contrary to our human nature and can only be accomplished by the power of the indwelling Spirit in us. "Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights." (John R. Wooden) "Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all." (~William Temple) "It is not a weak man’s surrender, but a strong man’s rejection of selfishness and determination to be actively concerned with the needs and interests of others." (Richards)
Want true joy? "J.O.Y." "J" for Jesus first, "O" for others next, and "Y" for yourselves last. "As we esteem others better, we will naturally have a concern for their needs and concerns; this sort of outward looking mentality naturally leads to a unity among the people of God. If I am considering you above me, and you are considering me above you, a marvelous thing happens: we have a community where everyone is looked up to, and no one is looked down on." (Guzik) Humility brings unity!
- "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus."--We need to imitate Christ and have the same attitude/mindset as He does. Christ is the Ultimate Example of humility, servanthood, and radical obedience. When we have Christlike attitude, we're willing to give up our own rights for the good of others; we discover that it's far better to submit, to serve, and to love than to have our own way. When we have Christlike mindset, we have the selfless, sacrificial, submissive, and serving mind. Christ teaches self-denial not only with His words but also by His actions. Christians are to move from self-seeking/self-promotion to self-denial. "From self denial in the spiritual worship of God flows self surrender to the will of God, and from self surrender flows selfless service in the work of God." (John MacArthur)
"Oh, to see the needs of others
Following our Lord's example
When He left His heavenly throne." (Sper)
"Others, Lord, yes, others,
Let this my motto be;
Help me to live for others,
That I might live like Thee."
(Charles D. Meigs)
(Charles D. Meigs)
- This song is my prayer.