There’s been a verse from Scripture that’s really been playing on my mind lately. I read it at prayers the other week, and ever since then, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
It’s a verse from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, and it says this:
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3, ESV)
This is a huge verse (not in size, but in challenge). For Paul to write this from prison, where he was locked up, hungry and alone, would have been a massive challenge. And it is still a massive challenge for us today.
I was wondering what it would look like if everyone who believed in Jesus, followed His commands and lived for Him, actually took these words literally, and put others before themselves. I know I don’t. I know, so often, what I do is actually to benefit me, even if I put on a guise of servant-heartedness and sacrifice. It’s so easy to slip into a habit of doing things for ourselves, for our own promotion and our own gain.
But that’s the challenge that Jesus gives us – to put others before ourselves. Our priorities should be God, others, and then ourselves. That’s a major contrast to the way the world sees things – ourselves first, and then everything else following on.
Yet it’s the beauty of a life following Christ – different to the world, and serving others and serving God. And whilst it is a challenge, it is a wonderful, fulfilling and grace-filled challenge, one that we should all strive to accept and commit to.