"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Interest is a fascinating word, really.Bankers love the word, as it represents the amount of return they get for the services involved in loaning us other people's money.  If we are attentive to something, it us usually because we find it interesting. The degree of interest we have in the subject (or person) is usually in direct correlation to the attention we give it (or them). As humans, our tendency is to be interested in ourselves. It is because of this tendency that Paul had to exhort the Philippians to care about others, saying:

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.Philippians 2:4

The wording seems to acknowledge that we will look to our own interests. There is no need for a commandment to do that. Nor does he command us not to look to our own interests. The command is that, as we do so, we need to look also to the interests of others.

The writer has carefully laid out the basis of all Christian motivation and actions: we are encouraged by our unity with Christ; we are receive comfort from his love, along with tenderness and compassion. Therefore, we are to make Paul's joy complete by being like-minded, having the  same love, being one in spirit an purpose. This will result in the absence of selfish motivations and vain conceit, and we will attend to the interests of others (just as we attend to our own). I am reminded of the second greatest command: Love your neighbor as yourself. The second part is less a command than an acknowledgement. It is the loving others part we needed a commandment for.

In your conversations with others, do you actually listen to the answers for the questions you ask. Do you find yourself eager to turn the conversation back to yourself? Does every story remind you of a story about yourself? These are hidden clues that we may be more self-centered than not. And it is time for a heart adjustment. As infants, we are the center of our own little worlds. As we mature, we realize (hopefully) that we share the world with millions of others. Our interests, our stories, are not the center of everything. In fact, we are to consider others as better than ourselves.

God is not asking us to do anything that he has not already done, and Paul is about to elaborate on the attitude of Jesus. It is through his eyes we are to see one another; it is with his heart we are to love one another...at any cost!

As we go about our days, as we engage with one another at home, in the workplace, on the street or in the church, let us look to the interests of others. His Holy Spirit within us wants to do so, but we will have to move our egos out of the way. Ironically, as we do so, we find our true fulfillment in the law of love.

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