"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
Sometimes people look for the quickest way out of a relationship.
There are times that needs to be done.
But I believe those relationships are the exception rather than the rule.
Rather than looking for the quickest way out of the relationship, we need to look for the quickest way out of the relationship problems.
The book of Philippians provides us with insight into this.
As we read through Philippians, it becomes evident that several of those in the church family were having problems relating with one another.
Consequently, the church's ability to effectively shine the good news of God's grace into the city of Philippi was threatened.
There was complaining among them.
There was arguing among them.
There were feelings of superiority among them.
There was selfishness among them.
All of these relational problems were preventing them from fulfilling their purpose as a church, which was to shine the good news of God's grace into Philippi.
These relational issues among believers were limiting their impact among unbelievers.
That is why in Philippians chapter 2 Paul begins to address the relational issues among them as we have studied in past posts (to read all of my posts on Philippians, go to my FB page and scroll down until you find my first post on Philippians 1:1).
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul addresses the issues of selfishness (my interests are more important than yours) and pride (I am more important than you), which led to complaining and arguing.
In addressing these issues, Paul provides one cure for both relational problems: humility.
The Philippian people were ranking themselves and one another in positions of importance.
And, therefore, were treating one another based upon how important they saw themselves and others.
They viewed their own interests, their wants and needs, as more important than the interests of others.
So rather than seeking to serve others...
...they were focused on being served,
...they were focused on being seen,
...they were focused on being in charge,
...they were focused on being right,
...they were focused on being first,
...they were focused on having their own way.
Because they were seeking to be served by others, rather than to serve others, relational problems were beginning to develop among them and they were on the verge of losing their impact in the city of Philippi.
To correct the problem of pride parading through the church, Paul holds Jesus up as the prime example of humility and encourages the Philippians to pattern their lives after him.
We will look at this in my next post on Philippians.
But for now remember: Pride always causes problems and will prevent relationships, marriages, and churches from becoming all they could be.
The desire to be served...
to be right...
to be seen...
to be in charge...
to be first...
to have my way... are the quickest ways to relationship problems.
And the quickest way out?
Humility - seeking to serve the other person rather than seeking to be served by the other person.
When we serve in humility, we no longer have... to be right...to be seen...to be in charge...to be first...to have our own way...to argue...or to complain.
Rather, in humility, we are simply seeking to impact the life of other people by seeing them and their needs as more important than our own and doing what we can to meet their needs.
This is the quickest way out of relationship problems.
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