” 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.” Philippians 2:3-4
Our culture teaches us that healthy levels of ambition and selfishness, pride and conceit, are necessary for success in this world. We are bombarded with messages that tell us it is impossible to be too ambitious or too invested in our own personal advancement. Humility is viewed as weakness and concern for others an unnecessary shackle in a society where only the strong survive. Self-reliance, independence and personal responsibility are cherished virtues that all too often become vicious weapons when used against the downtrodden and less fortunate.
There are few areas where the message of the Bible more directly contradicts the values of our culture than in the effort to balance concern for self with concern for others. Philippians 2:3-4 captures this balance perfectly. We are to look after our own interests, of course; but more importantly, we are called to look after the interests of others. The world persistently preaches an ethic of selfishness. The Bible consistently teaches an ethic of selflessness. We are to place the needs of others ahead of our own needs and as Paul writes to the Christians in Philippi count others more significant than ourselves. If Christ modeled anything for us during his life on earth, it was an ethic of selflessness and humility (Philippians 2:6-8).
The third commitment of our CovenantGroup agreements is to find an opportunity to serve within our church once a month. When you serve on a committee, join a ministry team, read to our children at the Day School, volunteer at an After School event, or work at Vacation Bible School you are demonstrating your willingness to put the needs of others ahead of your own needs; you are counting others more significant than yourself.
Serving the church involves self-sacrifice. Sometimes service involves being at church when you’d rather be someplace else. Sometimes service involves enriching the lives of others when your time could be spent profitably on yourself. Sometimes service involves hard work for little recognition or reward. But service always involves following the example of Christ. So remember your covenant commitment to serve. If you don’t already have an outlet for service, consider joining a ministry team. You can find ministry team opportunities through your CovenantGroups. Each time you serve, you allow yourself to be conformed to the image of Christ. And I can’t think of anything more in our own self-interest than that.