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Today we are discussing how easy it is to be selfish and how to change our attitude so we do NOTHING from selfish ambition.
What does it look like to do nothing from selfish ambition?
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
If I am honest with you, I don’t think I really know what it is like to do NOTHING from selfish ambition.
I have been so convicted as I studied these verses!
How many times have I thought that my husband was being sooo selfish?! Even having the thought that another person (insert name offender) was selfish in some way, probably points directly back to me (in this case) because my motives were wrong.
My motives for getting frustrated at my husband’s selfishness was centered on my own SELFishness! I was inconvenienced by his ‘selfish’ request BECAUSE it would inconvenience ME!
How much God needs to weave a work of grace in my heart through this passage!
5 Ways To Do Nothing From Selfish Ambition
When we are selfish and fail, God wants to give us the grace to learn to be of one mind with others.
1. Having Unity with Others!
Jesus didn’t die so that we could merely tolerate each other. He died so that we could be saved and transformed into His likeness.
He wants us to cherish each other.
Often, the last thing we do is cherish others because our heart is so wrapped up in our SELFish Ambition.
Let’s back up and look at the first part of this verse.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy … Philippians 2:1
Paul is the one who penned the book of Philippians in the power of the Holy Spirit. He loves to lavish us with encouragement to carry out what we ‘ought’ to do.
That is what Paul is doing in Philippians 2:1 when he uses words like:
- Participation in the Spirit!
He is encouraging us to encourage, comfort, love, give affection and sympathy through the Holy Spirit living IN and THROUGH us.
This is a hope-giving reality to carry out towards those in our life.
2. Be of the Same Mind with Others
We are to be of the same mind with others and that is why Paul keeps repeating this thought in several verses.
. . . you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27
One mind is not easily translated from the Greek into English but if we look at other verses in this passage it gives us clues for the meaning of this short phrase.
Paul testifies that it will “Complete my joy” when we (and the Philippians) have one mind as they reach out to others in their life. He is actually modeling joy while he is inconvenienced in jail.
Being of the same mind doesn’t mean we always have to agree with others and have the same opinion. What it means is that we have a mind-set of Christ-like thinking.
3. Have the Same Love for Others
Are there some people that you simply have trouble getting along with? Is there more strife and division than love?
If it’s your husband, God really wants to pack your heart to overflowing with grace so you have the ‘same mind’, ‘same love’ and are in ‘full accord’ with him.
Remember that God is a miracle-working God!
If He can work a miracle in my marriage, He is able to do it in yours!
When you start using encouragement, comfort, love, affection, and sympathy as you interact with others, your mind-set towards that person turns to joy!
4. Be in Full Accord Towards Others
Are you in full accord with others? Do you even really understand what that means?
To be in full accord with others means to be at peace with them. It means that if you or your sister needs the car, you can come to a peaceable agreement as to who will use it.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit (Philippians 2:3a)
It means that there is no rivalry between you and the other person. If they are disagreeable, you do everything you can (with God’s help) to be agreeable even when they are not.
It isn’t the easiest thing in life to do NOTHING from selfish ambition. I am selfish more than I realize.
If there was a dessert table with slices of cake, there would likely be one that was bigger than the others.
Have you ever chosen the biggest slice of cake?
If not, have you ever taken a smaller piece so as not to look greedy?
It is a situation like this that makes me realize that I have a selfish ambition to surrender to God. I need to see others as more significant than myself.
How can you count others more significant than yourSELF this week?
Having the Attitude Of A Servant
Not having selfish ambition is unpacked in the verses below by having the mind of Christ. Jesus demonstrated this to us when he came to live among us on earth.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:4-8
We are to humbly serve others like Jesus even if we don’t get done what was on our agenda.
What are the things that you are tempted to do from rivalry or conceit? How can you do NOTHING from selfish ambition this week?
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