Reflection on Philippians 2:1-3
“1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
For me, these words are full of encouragement and rebuke.
Rebuke, because this idea of doing nothing from selfish ambition or conceit – nothing from the place of pride, self-interest and to promote myself – wow… this is full of rebuke for me.
I think also as human beings, we are all guilty of self-interest again and again. For those among us who follow Jesus, sadly this is something from our old nature that does not yet disappear. We still choose self-interest and self-promotion.
But here our model is Jesus. Paul goes on after these words to talk about the humility of Jesus who laid down His rights as the Eternal God and He humbled himself, and became a man.
Even more than that Jesus came and died as a man the death of a criminal the shame of the cross… but why?
Because it was the purpose of His Father to rescue sinners… It was the purpose of the Son to obey His father. He came and died for sinners… for me… and for you…
What humility… It is humility beyond belief. Would the monarch die for the slave? Or more accurately… would the monarch die for the prisoner – guilty of high treason?
And so, He did. The Monarch, King Jesus, died for the traitors.
The picture for the follower of Jesus here, is to think and so live this same way. In the interest of others. Putting others first. Laying our lives down to serve one another as Jesus did. Being united and filled with love for one another. Self-giving.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16).