Philippians 2:3 - Selfish and Proud or Humble and Looking for God?
Philippians 2:3 (NLT) Dont be selfish;
dont try to impress others. Be humble, thinking
of others as better than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 (NCV) When you do things, do
not let selfishness or pride be your guide.
Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than
Philippians 2:3 (MSG) Don't push your way to
the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Years ago, to celebrate our anniversary,
my husband gave me a gold necklace with a
pendant: two small golden geese flying side by side.
The geese represent eternal love.
Geese mate for life. If a goose becomes
too old or sick to continue in formation with
the rest of the flock, the mate and another
goose will fly with the weaker one between them to
a place with food and water. The two will wait
and comfort the weaker one until either it is
able to fly or it dies. Only then will the
stronger geese join another flock, where they will be
welcomed as newcomers.
Geese fly in a V formation. The goose in
front actually creates air movement that makes
flying easier for the birds behind. When the lead
bird grows weary, another moves into lead
position. The oldest and youngest geese fly at the
back of the V and honk like a cheering section
for those ahead. By working together as a unit,
these birds can fly great distances that they
could never manage alone.
How much we can learn about loyalty from
geese! Proverbs 17:17 reminds us that "A friend is
always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time
of need." We need to seek out those friends who
will support us when we are weak, stick with us
no matter what, and cheer us on when we step
out to lead. Do we exhibit that kind of loyalty
to our spouses and those close to us?
When we are committed to others'
well-being - when we value them above ourselves and put
their interests first, as Paul instructs the
Philippians - we are imitating Jesus and taking on His
mind-set. He is the ultimate faithful friend.
May we stay faithful and committed to our
spouses "until death do us part." May we take turns
in a leadership position and cheer one another
on for the long journey ahead. And may we
always welcome newcomers and the lost. [Earth
Psalms by Francine Rivers]
WORD STUDY INSIGHTS
Selfishness and Pride: We are to form no
plan and aim at no goal that is prompted by
selfish ambition or a desire to outdo others.
Nothing, not even for an end that is good in itself,
is pleasing to God if prompted by these
motives. [SDA Bible Commentary]
Self-esteem: A modern psychological ploy is
to attribute many personal and social problems
to individual lack of self-esteem. The
Scriptures, however, urge each of us to have
"other-esteem," not self-esteem. Our real problem is
self-centeredness and too much self-esteem. However, Paul
urges us to be lowly-minded, not highminded,
seeking the good of others, not concerned with
ourselves. [Defenders SB]
Pride And Humility
Pride destroys relationships. It shows up
in a lot of different ways, like criticism,
competition, stubbornness, and superficiality.
The problem with pride is its
self-deceiving. Everybody else can see it in us but us. When
you have a problem with pride, you dont see
it in your life.
Proverbs 16:18 says, Pride leads to
destruction; a proud attitude brings ruin (NCV). I
love this verse in the Message paraphrase:
First pride, then the crash - the bigger the ego,
the harder the fall.
Pride destroys relationships, but
humility is the antidote to pride. Humility builds
relationships. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:8, Everyone
must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each
other, have compassion, and be humble (GW).
How are you and I going to grow in
humility? It happens by letting Jesus Christ begin to
control our thoughts and hearts and attitudes and
reactions. Hes got to be a part of this. Ephesians
4:23-24 says, Let the Spirit change your way of
thinking and make you into a new person (CEV).
How do you become a new person? How do
you start to think in a different way? The basic
law of relationships is this: You tend to become
like the people you spend time with. If you spend
time with grumpy people, you get grumpier. If you
spend time with happy people, you get happier. If
you want to have more humility, spend time with
Jesus Christ. He is humble. He wants a
relationship with you. He wants you to spend time with
him in prayer and reading his Word and talking
to him. He is humble, and as you get to know
him, youll become more like him.
Be humble and give more honor to
others than to yourselves You must have the
same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he
was God, he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to(Philippians 2:3,
No one has done anything more humble than
Jesus, coming from heaven to Earth to become a man,
live for us, give his life for us, and be
resurrected for us. When you spend time with him, it
makes you more humble, and that builds your
relationships. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
Humility and Love
Love does not boast, it is not proud (1
Corinthians 13:4 NIV). Jesus has no room for pecking
orders. His solution to man-made caste systems? A
change of direction. In a world of upward mobility,
choose downward servility. Regard one another as
more important than yourselves (Philippians
2:3 NASB). Jesus flip-flopped the pecking
Would you do what Jesus did? He swapped a
spotless castle for a grimy stable. He exchanged the
worship of angels for the company of killers. If you
knew that only a few could care that you came,
would you still come? If you knew that those you
loved would laugh in your face, would you still
care? The palm that held the universe took the
nail of a soldier. Why? Because thats what
love does! He loves you that much! Drink deeply
of Gods love for you"and ask him to fill
your heart with a love worth giving! [Max Lucado
Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com]
New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera
made his career getting the hardest three outs in
baseball - the last three. Rivera set more than
twenty-five pitching records, including becoming the
all-time saves leader. A pitcher earns a save by
clinching a victory after throwing at least one inning
with his team ahead by no more than three runs.
In other words, every time Rivera stepped on
the mound, it was a pressure-packed situation.
Rivera notched his record 602nd save on
September 19, 2011, against the Minnesota Twins. After
the game, instead of bragging about his
accomplishment, Rivera did what he'd always done - focused
on his teammates and God.
"The whole organization, my whole
teammates have been a pillar for me," Rivers told a
Fox News reporter. "I always have to talk about
God, because that's the most important thing in
my life. Yes, there have been bumps in the
road, but God gave me the strength."
Only twenty-one pitchers in the history
of baseball have tallied half the number of
saves that Rivera has earned. When asked during an
ESPN radio interview if being called the greatest
closer embarrassed him, Mariano answered: "Yea, it
does. It does make me uncomfortable because I
don't like to talk about myself. I just want to be
able to contribute as much as I can for the team.
And the rest is just blessings from the Lord."
Mariano Rivera's talent and humility made
him one of the most beloved baseball players of
all time. Even his opponents respected him. He
played the game like he lived his life, according
to Philippians 2:3-4: "In humility value others
above yourselves, not looking to your own
interests but each of you to the interests of the
Jesus lived out those words, but to an
even greater degree. Nobody had more to brag
about than Jesus Christ. But you never heard him
say, "Hey, check me out. I'm God's Son. I can
walk on water." Instead of demanding to be served
on earth, he made himself a servant and humbled
himself on the cross to die for our sins.
Sometimes we might be tempted to brag if
we ace a test, nail a game-winning shot, or get
the lead in a play. At those times, remember
Jesus' example and act humbly. [Case For Christ For
Kids by Les Strobel]
As our world is getting smaller, our
minds seem to be following suit. Our level of
selfishness is increasing by the day. Suddenly, nobody
wants you to invade his or her "space." Sharing
may be the major subject in a kindergarten
class, but somewhere on the way to adulthood the
lessons get erased.
How easy it is to forget that thinking
first of the other person did not originate with
Dale Carnegie. It comes straight from the Lord
our God, who led Paul to write: "Do nothing from
selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind
regard one another as more important than
yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal
interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil.
If you think most people follow that
counsel, see what happens the next time you're
driving into the mall and you slip into a parking
spot, not realizing someone else was waiting to
occupy it. We're talking borderline homicide.
This selfish attitude is also alive and
well on airplanes. I remember one in particular:
I was sitting on a 727 about halfway back in
the coach section (three-plus-three
configuration) when a family of three came aboard.
Apparently they had purchased their tickets late and
were unable to secure reserved seating in the
same row. The airline attendant assured them that
there were several empty seats surely someone
would be willing to swap.
Just in front of me were two empty seats,
middle and window and on the other side, same
row, the middle and aisle seats were open. The
family"all of them friendly and courteous - asked the
gentleman on the aisle if he would be willing to move
from the right side aisle seat to the left side
aisle seat. That's all just stand up, take two
steps to the left, then sit back down. Just swap
seat 17D for seat 17C.
Do you think he'd do it? No way. He
wasn't even courteous enough to answer verbally.
Just stared straight ahead as he shook his head
Just remember this the next time someone
cuts in front of you, the next time you are
patiently (or impatiently?) waiting your turn in the
line or at the light and someone charges ahead of
Make it an opportunity to practice
Sharing 101. "In everything, therefore, treat people
the same way you want them to treat you, for
this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12).
Watch for an opportunity to share "your"
space. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.]
Once there was a man whose life was one
of misery. The days were cloudy,and the nights
were long. He didn't want to be unhappy, but he
was. With the passing of the years, his life had
changed. His children were grown. The neighborhood
was different. The city seemed harsher.
He was unhappy. He decided to ask his
priest what was wrong. "Am I unhappy for some sin I
"Yes," the wise priest replied. "You have
"And what might that sin be?"
"Ignorance," came the reply. "The sin of
ignorance. One of your neighbors is the Messiah in
disguise, and you have not seen him." The man left
the office stunned. "The Messiah is one of my
He began to think who it might be. Tom
the butcher? No, he's too lazy. Mary, my cousin
down the street? No, too much pride. Aaron the
paperboy? No, too indulgent.
The man was confounded. Every person he
knew had defects. But one was the Messiah.
He began to look for Him.
He began to notice things he hadn't seen.
The grocer often carried sacks to the cars
of older ladies. Maybe he is the Messiah.
The officer at the corner always had a
smile for the kids. Could it be? And the young
couple who'd moved in next door. How kind they are
to their cat. Maybe one of them...
With time he saw things in people he'd
never seen. And with time his outlook began to
change. The bounce returned to his step. His eyes
took on a friendly sparkle. When others spoke he
listened. After all, he might be listening to the
Messiah. When anyone asked for help, he responded;
after all this might be the Messiah needing
The change of attitude was so significant
that someone asked him why he was so happy. "I
don't know," he answered. "All I know is that
things changed when I started looking for God."
When was the last time you snapped a
selfie? Last night? When you woke up today? Last
On the other hand, if I asked you, "Are
you vain and self-absorbed?" you would probably
say, "Of course not, Craig!' and then you'd think
what a rude person I must be for asking. But the
truth is that in our social-media-saturated world,
we face more temptations than ever before to
value ourselves too highly. From what we post as
our status to our ubiquitous selfies, we become
the star in our very own reality series called
As followers of Jesus, however, we're
called to put others before ourselves. God tells us
not to be so focused on our appearance and what
we're going to wear and eat and do next. Instead
we should look for ways we can serve those in
need. Our culture encourages us to chase after our
fifteen minutes of fame, but God tells us to focus
on investing ourselves in things with eternal
value. While it's not always easy, with Christ as
our role model, putting others first is always
Today step out of your spotlight and let
someone else be the star of the show as you serve
Lord, it's not always easy to quit
thinking about myself, but I want to put others
first. Remind me that in order to find my life I
must lose it. [Daily Power by Craig Groeschel]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred