Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 2:4

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

2:4   Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Paul, in describing the humility of a Christian witness, seeks to instruct his friends of their responsibility to their neighbors. He doesn’t separate himself from the real vagaries of life on this earth, where we have to provide for those we love, care for those of our family, and support those we are closest to. These interests we naturally have are not to e ignored in order to give to others, and to be seen as super spiritual, (thereby exposing a pride that is so antithetical to Paul’s direction!)

Our neighbor, in his need, according to the way I understand Paul, is also our need and it is the wise man who can discern a proper response to the neighbor. Is it right to take from our own interest, our own family, our own loved ones, in order to provide for “others”. Yes. Yet I have somewhat of a qualifier, based on life experience, for you to consider. For you see, in my past, I would see someone in need, and simply go to fulfill that need. Without any discussion on the impact towards those I love. Looking back, this action seems to be fueled by some sense of being seen by strangers as a true Christian (?) and ignored those who were witnessing my life closest! (i.e. my fam!)

Since then, unless an emergency forces an instant decision and action, I tend to take a few minutes to discuss with those who will be impacted by the sacrifice/gift/time spent to help my neighbor, just to get buy in, to give them the respect they deserve and to simply honor those around me.

I have come to realize that a unified sacrifice is much more satisfying, much more peaceful, and much more worthwhile, for not only can the Spirit’s direction be verified, but the act of submitting to one another’s act of love towards our “neighbor” brings greater blessing to all involved.

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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