Opting the ‘others-before-self’ approach
“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. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ 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, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
There is no other passage better than this, that explains the serving heart of Christ and his command for us to follow him in living a servanthood and humble life.
Selfish ambition or conceit translates to motivation to elevate oneself, putting one’s interests ahead of others, a more ‘self-above-others’ approach. In contrast to selfish ambition, the Word teaches us to count others’ interests before our own selfish interests thereby opting for an ‘others-before-self’ approach.
To understand ‘others-before-self’ approach, God not only gave us His word, but also gave a living example in Jesus, who is the epitome of servanthood. Despite being God’s son, equal to God, Jesus did not use it to his advantage and live a comfortable and lavish life but humbled himself to the poorest position as a human and gave up his life, for us, sinners, on the cross. In doing so, Jesus demonstrated a self-sacrificial love. He lived his life for others than himself, to the extent of sacrificing his life to save us from eternal damnation.
This is a clear instruction to us to give up pride and selfish ambitions and humble ourselves to serve others, thereby putting others’ needs above ours. We are directed to bear with one another and carry each other’s burdens and thus, portray Christ-like character in our lives. When we start demonstrating this in our lives, it is assured that everyone’s burdens will be taken care of.
It is only when we comprehend God’s unmatched grace, love and mercy for us, that we understand that there is no use of selfish ambition and pride. This should instil in our hearts, the self-sacrificing love for others, even giving up our lives for others and as promised by Jesus, when we seek to glorify God and do this with a humble heart, our needs will be met.
“Humble yourselves, for you will be lifted higher.”
Mrs. Sonia Daniel