Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.
Paul is laying the cards on the table, in this portion of scripture. The first few questions are Paul’s way of emphasizing the fact that, as Christians, we receive so much from the Lord. He gives us encouragement, comfort and fellowship which should lead us to extend sympathy, love, and caring to others, even if we don’t always agree with the other person. If they are a child of God, then it’s our responsibility and obligation to love them, just as Christ loves us. He sees all of our flaws and imperfections, and yet, still loves and accepts us.
In order to attain unity in any organization; whether it’s a church, business or household, humbleness must be present in all participants. One dose of selfishness or self-centeredness will throw off the whole equation, with unity being thrown out the window. Humbleness is not a sign of weakness or self-denial, but rather, a desire to put other’s needs ahead of our own. In other words, we are not to think too highly of ourselves, expecting special treatment or accolades because of who we are and what we’ve accomplished. In reality, God sees all of us in the same light; saved by His grace and covered by the blood of Jesus. He doesn’t see any of us as more special than the next one, but in our humanness, we act as if favoritism abounds. And many Christians are falling by the wayside and leaving the church in droves because of this mentality and the treatment they are receiving. If we are good enough for God, why can’t we be good enough for each other?
This is one of the biggest traps from Satan, and we have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker. We allow our education, looks and accomplishments overrule our mandate from God to be humble. Last time I checked, Jesus Christ was the Son of God and had every right to exalt himself and demand preferential treatment, but yet He humbled himself, became a lowly man and washed the feet of those who eventually betrayed him. What could we possibly do or accomplish to warrant being greater than the Son of God? You and I both know that the answer to that question is, “Nothing.” So we must move forward with seeking forgiveness for our self-indulgent attitude and allow humbleness to dictate our every move. Jesus Christ is our ultimate example, not the person leading a ministry on TV, or the author writing the next, great, self-help book. We need to allow Christ and His Word to set the standard in our life.
Have you ever thought what true humbleness means? Do you know anyone in your life that you consider to be a humble person? What attributes do you admire in that person? How do you treat others, especially those you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with? Spend the remainder of today being consciously aware of your treatment toward every person you come in contact with. Attempt to treat each one with love, caring and joy, regarding them, “as better than yourself.”
Have a great day!