In the Interest of Others

When we put the welfare of others before our own, we are loving like Jesus.

Philippians 2:3-4

We live in a world where taking care of yourself first is often top priority. But in his letter to the Philippians, Paul suggested that Christians are to operate differently. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,” he wrote, “but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves” (2:3).

Today, it might be easy to miss how radical this statement was in the first century. Let’s look at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount for a moment (Matthew 5:1-48). In order to get to the gospel’s higher standard for humility, the Lord pushed beyond what His followers might have expected. Treating others as well as you treat yourself is a start, but go further and you will see how radical Jesus’ humility was (Philippians 2:5-8).

Cultivating this kind of humility requires more than simply acting humble. That’s what Paul means when he says we should “do nothing from … empty conceit” (Phil. 2:3). Anyone can feign humility if it suits or benefits them. As believers, our call is to truly consider others first and to look out for their interests before our own.

Imagine how our communities would be transformed if everyone put others before themselves. What’s one step you can take to make that happen?