“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:1-4).
Are we like this section of Scripture? Is this how we view our Christian walk? Service for the sake of service to another is loving others as ourselves (Matt. 22:39). It is seeking the good of the community above our own good. When we do this we are being counter to what culture says to do.
Many of the issues in this world are surrounding the me-first ideology in culture. All of the sexual deviance that is present now, i.e. same-sex unions, the push for transgenderism as normal, abortion, porn, and any other self-first practices, is because of the me-first ideology. We as Christians must not succumb to this ideology. We must rise above this and “do nothing from selfish ambition” rather we are to look to the interests of others first.
Paul begins this section with powerful words, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ…” What is this encouragement in Christ? Well, Paul gives hints of this in verses 2-4. It is selfless love and submission to others. It is, as the title suggests, humble service. We are to serve others before we serve ourselves. This is not too difficult a concept to grasp. Any parent knows that their children come before themselves.
I remember well as a child watching my mother not eat very much so we boys had enough to eat. She would selflessly sacrifice food so her boys could be healthy. This selfless act of love has stuck in my head my whole life. It is something that has helped guide me in life because it demonstrated to me what genuine sacrificial love is. This love was known by me before I had ever heard of Jesus.
Of course, when we see this kind of selfless love we celebrate it and cheer it on as something that is special. Sadly, this type of love shouldn’t need celebration at all. It should be so common that it is what we all do. Sadly, it is not so it is celebrated. Yet, this is the type of love or Humble service that we should do.
Not only does Paul give hints of this type of love and service, but he gives us the ultimate server to emulate. In verses 5-8 he shows the example that Jesus set for us. Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, did not equality with God a thing to grasp. He left that heavenly royal advantage and came down and took on human form. He left royalty and became a pauper for us. He left behind glory and entered depravity for us. He gave up that and willingly died for us.
Regardless of how you interpret what it was that He exactly emptied Himself of in these verses, we have to admit that this is the epitome of selfless, humble, and real love. He left His place of glory and entered into our fallen and broken world and lives so we can have eternal life. That is amazing service. That is amazing love. As Charles Wesley stated, “Amazing love! How can it be, that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? He left His Father’s throne above-So free, so infinite His grace-Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race: ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, For, O my God, it found out me!”
As Christ-followers, how can we not be self-sacrificing for others also? We should desire others to learn Christ and grow in Him. We should be humble servants of Christ for the sake of the souls of others. Let us go out and fight against this me-first culture and be the light to the darkness. Let us go and humbly serve others and show them the love of Christ.