Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
I believe the greatest illustration of how to help others is found in Philippians 2. In this chapter, Paul reminded us that Jesus gave up His own convenience and His own rights in order to help us. That is the example we are to follow. I want you to notice three tips for helping other people:
First of all, remove selfishness and conceit from your life. Verse 3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.” Somebody has said, “The smallest package I have ever seen is a man wrapped up in himself.” You know, all selfishness is really based on conceit, the idea that I am more important than you are. I was talking to my friend Mike Huckabee a few years ago, and I asked him what he did in his church. He said, “Oh, I drive the golf cart.” I asked, “The golf cart?” He explained, “Yeah, I drive the golf cart around the parking lot to pick up senior adults who need help making it to the main building. I get the biggest kick out of doing that.” Here is a former governor and presidential candidate, but he is not too conceited to drive around picking people up in a golf cart. If we are going to help others, we have to remove selfishness and conceit from our lives.
Second, regard others as more important than yourself. Verse 3 continues: “But with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Several years ago, a group of thirteen Marines were flying through Chicago on their way home from Afghanistan. There were six open seats in first class, so the airline upgraded six of their tickets. But then seven first-class passengers decided to give up their tickets so that all the Marines could fly together. Those Marines unselfishly put their lives on the line, and those passengers unselfishly gave up their comfort to say thank-you. That is what it means to regard others as more important than yourself.
Finally, look out for the interests of others. Verse 4 says, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Paul was not saying you should never look out for your own interests, but make sure you are taking care of others as well. The fact is, somebody else’s need to hear you say you are sorry may be more important than your need to defend yourself. Somebody else’s need to have a conversation with you may be more important than your need to finish your to-do list for the day. When you look at Jesus’s life here on earth, some of his greatest miracles and teaching moments were the result of interruptions. He put the interests of others above His own schedule. To help others, do not just look after your own interests, but their interests as well.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #9: Help Others” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Joanna Prisco, “7 First-Class Passengers Give Up Seats For Marines,” ABC News, November 7, 2013, https://abcnews.go.com/Travel/class-passengers-give-seats-marines/story?id=20816817.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.