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 
to yourselves.  

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] 


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, 
5-6 NCV/NLT). 
   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 
have committed?" 
   "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] 




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 
Gibbs FGGibbs@abible.com