Making A Difference

Paul wrote in Phil. 2:3-4, “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.”
But that is the rub, I think. It is an inherent
human quality—it is part of our very nature—to do
what we do, to say what we say, to desire what
we desire, to pursue what we pursue, to respond
or react in the natural ways that we respond or
react to others based upon “selfish ambition and
conceit.” And, at every step along the way,
especially when we are faced with real-life
dilemmas and real-life interactions with others,
that same nature desperately wants to raise its
ugly head and take charge.
“Nothing for self-interest, nor for vainglory,”
wrote one commentator about Paul’s intent in this
passage. To clarify, Paul is not advocating a
complete rejection of self-need. To do so would
be anathema to the understanding that we
certainly are to take care of the life that God has
given us. At the same time, however, we are to
develop an appropriate perspective on who we
are in relation to what God has done for us in
Jesus Christ. Paul’s entire argument on this
matter, in fact, hinges upon the humble sacrifice
that Jesus Christ willingly made for the sake of all
of us. It is only in light of what Jesus has done that
we might truly understand who and what we are in
this world. When we begin to come to grips with
that, we also begin to recognize that, although we
are saved (and that makes a difference!), we are
neither better nor worse than those around us. We
begin to see that each of us in this world is made
in the image of God, even though that image may
be tainted and broken. We begin to see others,
whoever they may be, through the eyes of Christ.
We begin to make a difference in the lives of
others, precisely because Christ makes a
difference in us. –Ricky

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