“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
Philippians 2:3 KJV
The culture of this day and age often upholds values that are the exact opposite of the values our verse for today advocates. The culture we live in often upholds values that emphasize our own selves rather than others. As a result of this emphasis, selfish ambition can rear its ugly head.
The trouble with selfish ambition is that it tends to trample upon the rights and precedence of other people. There’s nothing wrong with ambition, but selfish ambition runs roughshod over others. The selfishly ambitious person tries to take the short route to the top by stepping over those above them. They try to exclude and demean people on their own level that they perceive as threats to their rise up the ranks. And they try to block those beneath them from promotion for fear of creating a rival.
The motivating factor of the selfishly ambitious person is vain conceit and pride. They cannot imagine that anyone else is more deserving of promotion than they are. They never think of the worth and value of other people. They never think that another person could be more significant than they are.
Our verse for today, in contrast, says that we should have the opposite attitude. We should count others more significant than ourselves. Our motivating factor should be humility, not conceit and pride. As Paul goes on to say later in the chapter, our example should be 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” (Philippians 2:6-7).
Humble people do not worry about their own interests, because they know that God has their best interests at heart. They know that when they are ready for promotion God can do it and nothing can prevent it from happening. Here too, Jesus is our example. Since Jesus was more concerned with us than with Himself, God has “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
Today, let humility rule the day. Trust in God, and begin to appreciate the significance of those around you.