Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV)
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I would like to suggest that the greatest verses on marriage/sex/friendships/church life/relationships/and more are right here! Unfortunately we can be so self-absorbed that we so often miss practicing Paul’s point.
For example, Mrs. Random once locked herself out of her car on a Saturday afternoon and called me for help. She was at the local grocery parking lot and I had settled in at a local casual eatery to enjoy some reading, journaling, and reflection on a sermon I was to preach the next day. Leaving my books, I angrily jogged across the street (no more than half a block) with an belligerent indignation in my heart – justified in my mind because my day, my preparation for God’s work, my time with God, was interrupted! After making sure Mrs. Random was aware how much she should be thankful for my sacrifice, I returned to my books, and opened my journal to where I had been so rudely interrupted. Scanning to recover where I had been, I found these words at the end of the last sentence I wrote… “Lord, apply Philippians 2:1-4, to our fellowship and to me–let me truly understand its meaning . . .” I was overwhelmed with how incredibly selfish my attitude was. How wrapped up I was with my plans being interrupted! How self-absorbed I can be!
Imagine how different marriages and families would be if we would just be intentional in considering others as if they were more important than us; or if we could all defer our “rights” for the good of the rest? In fact, it would seem that families may be the best place to learn this. As Chuck Swindoll once said,
“What does the Lord do to help broaden my horizons and assist me in seeing how selfish I am? Very simple: He gives me four busy kids who step on shoes, wrinkle clothes, spill milk, lick car windows, and drop sticky candy on the carpet. … Being unselfish in attitude strikes at the very core of our being. It means we are willing to forgo our own comfort, our own preferences, our own schedule, our own desires for another’s benefit. And that brings us back to Christ.”