Sunday nights, my church is holding a series of classes based on “One Another” and how we need to be as a church family. A week ago Sunday, Pastor challenged us to follow the Matthew 18 guidelines. I’ll go over that another time. Last night, he challenged us to be servants. The scripture that we examined was Phillipians 2:3-8.
3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
So, what does that all mean? Well, I’m not a theologian, so, I’m going to go by what I’m reading. Verse 3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. Let’s stop there for a second. Definition of strife:
1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: to be atstrife.
2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash: armed strife.
3. competition or rivalry: the strife of the marketplace.
4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
Ok, so we should not do anything through strife, or through conflict/competition, etc. Now. let’s look at vainglory. Not a word you see too often in our common language today. If you look at it, it means exulting ones self. In other words, doing something to raise yourself up. So, this means that we, in this case me, or I, have to make a conscious effort to humble myself. The next part: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. This follows my last conclusion, to humble myself and then add to it, lift others up.
So, my first step, to humble myself and lift others up, not myself. I should recognize their worth and value. Christ said to remember that whatever we do to the least of those among us, we do to him. So, would I really want to put down, or not raise up someone? No, I need to make sure they are raised up. Last spring at the Pine Valley Women’t Retreat, it was brought up, that Jesus did not hang on the cross for just me, he hung on the cross for everyone. EVERYONE. So, we must treat everyone with that respect and honor.
I commit now to do my best to raise everyone else up, not for me, but for him.
The rest of the verses, to be continued….