What Paul writes in Philippians 2:4 may sound strange to your ears today. He wrote, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." It sounds rather nosy, does it not? Today we are more apt to hear people say, "Mind your own business."
Well, in a sense that is true. We must mind our own business. However, our own business is what Paul writes. We must look on the things of others. The idea is that, in every way and to every degree that we can, we must help those round about us. It surely means that we are concerned with the spiritual well-being of all of God's children who are round about us, and whom we can help in one way or another.
As we noted yesterday, we must live in a perfect unity with our fellow Christians. We should not wait until the brother or sister gets into trouble. We should strive to help him or her stay out of trouble. We should strive to keep them walking in a way that is pleasing in God's sight.
The second table of the law of God demands that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore we should be as careful as we can be to keep him from harm and evil. Paul had his reason for exhorting the Philippians that, since there is "consolation in Christ, comfort in love, fellowship of the Spirit and bowels of mercy," they should be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.
Telling us to look not simply on our things means that we must be willing to suffer, to give up our own things, to take time and spend our own money, to help the brother or sister to be spiritually healthy, and strong in the faith.
Think of what Christ did for us and what He gave up so that we would have the blessing we have. Let Christ be your example then. And let those who sacrifice much materially, so that others may be rich spiritually, be those in whose footsteps you walk. Look out for the good of your brother and sister in your church. Fight for them, not against them.
Read: Philippians 2:1-18
Through the Bible in One Year
Jeremiah 16:16-21 ; Jeremiah 17 ; Jeremiah 18:1-23
1 Thessalonians 4 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
Quote for Reflections
“Little Matters of Life”: “Another thing essential to growth in grace is watchfulness over our conduct in the little matters of everyday life. Our tempers, our tongues, the discharge of our several relations of life, our employment of time—each and all must be vigilantly attended to if we wish our souls to prosper. Life is made up of days, and days of hours, and the little things of every hour are never so little as to be beneath the care of a Christian. When a tree begins to decay at root or heart, the mischief is first seen at the extreme end of the little branches. "He that despises little things," says an uninspired writer, "shall fall by little and little." …We must aim to have a Christianity which, like the sap of a tree, runs through every twig and leaf of our character, and sanctifies all.” - J.C. Ryle
- Date: 11-October