Have you ever opened up the Bible, began reading and felt completely lost? The Bible is full of historical events, unusual commands, and lists of names that can intimidate the reader. While some books in the Bible might confuse the reader, Philippians has only four chapters and is full of encouraging wisdom. Here are 4 simple challenges direct from Philippians 2 that Paul challenges the church to become.
1. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others (vs 3). If applied, these eight words could change every school, home, and workplace in America. How many times do we get ourselves in trouble by putting our wants before the needs of others? How often do we find ourselves caught up in lies because we are trying to impress others? With these words, Paul challenges the church to have the same attitude of Christ.
2. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves (vs 3). If you step back and look at the consequence for sin, you will see that pride destroys. Pride says, “I deserve this” and a person steals something that doesn’t belong to them. Pride says, “This will make me happy,” and a person finds themselves overweight and a glutton. The way to avoid the pain of sin is to stay humble.
3. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (vs 4). Emerging from this verse is one of the greatest leadership principles ever spoken; the golden rule. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” And not in order to receive something in return; this is not a transaction. Simply do for others, because Christ did for us. When we are looking to the interests of others, there is no room for selfishness and pride.
4. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had (vs 5). This is possibly the hardest challenge that Paul gives to the church. Not only should our actions be pure, but also our attitude. Doing the right thing with the wrong attitude is not doing the right thing. Today, do you find yourself having the same attitude that Jesus had? What do you need to do today to focus and gain the right perspective?
If the leadership in our government, workplaces, and homes were to apply these scriptures, it could change the world. All of us would love to be part of a community that puts these four challenges into practice. Let’s each do our part today and take our next step towards living like Jesus.