Philippians 2: 3 (KJV)
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
“The world is eagle-eyed in spying out the faults of those who profess religion: and when they see a vain, conceited, talkative, obtrusive, uncharitable professor, they despise him in their very souls.”
It has been observed that these twin vices (strife and vainglory) have been spoilers of the church of God in all ages. Petty striving for place and preferment, jockeying for advantage, pushing and shoving for prestige or attention – how many congregations of believers in Christ have been blighted or destroyed by the sins Paul mentioned here.
This command forbids us to do anything, or attempt anything as the mere result of strife. We are to never be opposed to each other; never act from separate interests; because we are all brothers, and of one body; therefore, every member ought to feel and labor for the welfare of the whole. And, in the exercise of our different functions, and in the use of our various gifts, we are to do nothing so as to promote our own reputation, separately considered from the comfort, honor, and advantage of all.
This is not the principle from which we are to act, or by which we are to be governed. We are to form no plan, and aim at no object which is to be secured in this way. The command prohibits all attempts to secure anything over others by mere physical strength, or by superiority of intellect or numbers. Or as the result of dark schemes and plans formed by rivalry, or by the indulgence of angry passions, or with the spirit of ambition. We are not to attempt to do anything merely by outstripping others, or by showing that we have more talent, courage, or zeal.
What we do is to be by principle, and with a desire to maintain the truth, and to glorify God. And yet how often is this rule violated! How often do Christian denominations attempt to outstrip each other, and to see which shall be the greatest! How often do ministers preach with no better aim! How often do we attempt to outdo others in dress, and it the splendor of furniture and equipment! How often, even in plans of benevolence, and in the cause of virtue and religion, is the secret aim to outdo others. This is all wrong. There is no holiness in such efforts. Never once did the Redeemer act from such a motive, and never once should this motive be allowed to influence us.
We are to always have a humbling view of ourselves, and this will lead us to prefer others to ourselves; for, as we all know our own secret defects, charity will lead us to suppose that there are others who are more holy, and more devoted to God than we are; and they will think the same of us, their secret defects also being known only to themselves. Let us be extremely careful of our motives and especially when it comes to the things of God.
Have a great and God filled day!