Unselfish Care for OTHERS
Category : General
Philippians 2: 4 (KJV)
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
It is of a truth that our own things have the first claim on our life and person (Pr.27 :23; Rom.12:17). Persons without wealth cannot be generous without first seeking their own profit.
The story is told of a very poor and aged man, who was busy in planting and grafting apple trees, when he was interrupted by the question, “Why do you plant trees who cannot hope to eat the fruit of them?” He raised himself up, and, leaning on his spade, replied, “Someone planted trees before I was born, and I have eaten the fruit; I now plant for others, that the memorial of my gratitude may exist when I am dead and gone.
The text is one of the many illustrations of the practical character of New Testament teaching. Christ’s doctrines are the inspiration of its ethics. Nearly every point of Christian theology is raised in the subsequent paragraph to enforce the text. Religion is a sham if it is not practical. Our text today exhibits and reveals a high standard of conduct, but it leads us in a path in which we may hear the Good Shepherd’s voice. He speaks these words through His apostle; elsewhere He spoke them through His life. Look at him providing for His mother amidst the agonies of the cross. And it shows that a selfish man cannot be a Christian. Such precepts as these exalt the dispensation to which we belong. What must Christ’s religion be if this be a precept in harmony with its doctrines, facts, ordinances, and spirit.
Moreover, it is the duty of every man to do this. No one is at liberty to live for himself or to disregard the wants of others. The object of this rule is to break up the narrow spirit of selfishness, and to produce a benevolent regard for the happiness of others. The evil the text guards us against–Selfishness. That is, be not selfish. We are not to let our care and attention be wholly absorbed by our own concerns, or by the concerns of our own family. Evince a tender interest for the happiness of the whole, and let the welfare of others lie near your hearts. Self-preservation is indeed the first law of nature, but we are bound to observe the higher law of grace–“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
We are to have a deep conviction that the spiritual interests of everyone in the church is, in a certain sense, our own interest. The church is one. It is confederated together for a common object. Each one is entrusted with a portion of the honor of the whole, and the conduct of one member affects the character of all. We are, therefore, to promote, in every way possible, the welfare of every other member of the church. If they go astray, we are to admonish and entreat them; if they are in error, we are to instruct them; if they are in trouble, we are to aid them. Every member of the church has a claim on the sympathy of his brethren, and should be certain of always finding it when his circumstances are such as to demand it. Therefore, the exhortation and command is, “Do nothing through self-interest in the things of God; nor arrogate to ourselves gifts, graces, and fruits, which belong to others.” We must at all times remember that we are all called to promote God’s glory, grace and goodness and the salvation of men.
Have a great and Christ centered day!