“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
It is no wonder that the sinful side of the world we live in just doesn’t get Christians and Christianity. How could we ever expect the world to understand a religion whose ethic could be described by the words “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit?” This type of thinking is 180 degrees from that of the world. Our world is quick to suggest that we should be driven by selfish ambition. Our world says, “If you don’t look out for yourself, who else will?” How could our world understand an ethic that calls us to value others above ourselves?
So, the reality of our situation is that we live in a world that thinks and lives in ways opposite to Christian ways. Paul knew this to be true. His world was not much different from ours. But in this verse, Paul reminds us all that we must be different. We must stand out! It is our differences that allow us to shine light in this dark world. But that is not the only reason we stand out. We must live selfless and humble lives because we are children of the God who treats us selflessly and humbly. Our very salvation is rooted in the fact that Jesus selflessly loved us and thought more of us than He did of Himself. It was this selfless and unconditional love that moved Him to the cross to redeem and save us. We are now members of His kingdom and are called to love and live with the same ethic as that of our Savior.
May we be encouraged to confidently live according to the Christian ethic of love and humility.