Our focus verse for today comes from Philippians 2:3-5, “When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead. be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.”
How many of us stop and think about why we are doing what we are doing? Now I’m not talking about wondering why we men wear ties or women wear heels. Trying to understand the mystery that is the underworld of fashion is something no mere mortal might be equipped to fathom. Nor am I talking about why someone might eat the food on their plate one thing at a time, while someone else might love it all mixed together or put ketchup on almost everything.
These personal idiosyncrasies, like some people’s need to have all their dollars facing the same way in their wallet. While amusing to talk about and sometimes carrying deeper significance, these traits only hint at the real issue. And that issue is our motivation for our words and actions. Idiosyncrasies can develop in our lives without our even realizing it. Before we know it, we have a habit of arranging things a certain way or doing tasks always in the same sequence. And that is where it resembles our motivations.
Too often we are acting a certain way and we don’t even know why we are doing it. It has become such a habit or routine that we don’t even realize how it might be affecting others around us. You see, today’s verse says to not let selfishness or pride be our guide. The point there is that unless we make a conscious effort to give more honor to others, to show interest in their lives and how we can affect them, then our natural tendency will be towards selfishness and pride. We don’t have to tell ourselves to be selfish or prideful.
I don’t need to remind myself to look out for me first. Just let something come along that alters my routine or disrupts my schedule or plans, and my mind immediately goes to arranging the consequences to best suit me. When someone challenges our status or disregards some position we may have earned, how long does it take us to defend ourselves? So stop and ask yourself why. Ask yourself whether you are thinking and acting like Jesus. Ask yourself who is getting the honor, and who truly deserves it.
As we seek Him today, make a conscious effort to consider why you are doing what you do. Evaluate whether you are interested in the lives of others, and make sure that Christ Jesus is your guide.