Daily Thoughts : April 29th
Philip 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
There are a number of verses in the teaching of the New Testament that interlock, so to speak. For instance a number of times we are told to ‘love one another'. IF you do that then you will automatically comply with today's verse anyway, and conversely if you comply with today's verse you will be coming a long way towards loving others.
There is here a negative and then a positive, as there so often is in the New Testament. The negative is DON'T let selfish ambition or vain conceit have a hold in your life. Self-centredness is at the heart of sin and so letting self-centred ambition drive your life means you will a) take no note of God's will for your life or b) care about other people. Conceit is all about vanity or pride, another self-centred sin. It is about thinking more of yourself than you ought to and again of disregarding God and others.
Very well, says Paul coming to the positive, instead of being like that, think of others as better than yourself. It will act like a safety valve, if you like, to prevent this self-centredness having its way. It doesn't mean that they are better than you, but if you hold that attitude towards them then you will never be allowing pride or vanity or conceit to hold sway in your life. By thinking of others like that you will be thinking well of them and wanting to do good for them – and thus expressing love toward them.
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