CONCERN FOR OTHERS
An often overlooked, yet significant passage, Philippians 2:4 says, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." This concept is contrary to the popular notion espoused by humanists and others who selfishly care only for themselves. Many people today will only "LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE" as the expression goes. They have little concern for anyone but themselves.
This statement in Philippians 2:4 certainly contradicts the self-centered attitude that is so prevalent today. The NASB translates it, "do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Certainly, this passage is not saying that we are to be a busybody. However, it is saying that we are not to be just interested in our own affairs, but we are to be interested in the good and welfare of other people. Christians are to care about other people and not just care about themselves.
A similar concept is found in Galatians 6. This text tells us that, in addition to bearing our own burdens, we are to bear the burdens of others. Verse two says, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
In the first part of Philippians 2, Paul is trying to emphasize the importance of unity. He states various things which will promote unity. Among them is the attitude of concern expressed in the passage which we are examining. If we have concern for others, as well as ourselves, it will be much easier to be of one accord and of one mind in the church, as Paul implores in verse two.
A proper application of this passage can help us a great deal. Often, when we get our minds off our own problems and look at the difficulties and hardships of others, our own problems seem much smaller.
By Mike Johnson
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