Selfless for the right reasons

Rod Shimabukuro

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Phil. 2 is one of my favorite chapters to teach and preach on. The call to be like, act like, live like, have the attitude like Jesus is the challenging and convicting instruction Christians need to hear and respond to!

Paul describes the qualities and character of Jesus, living by the word of life, and uses Timothy as an example of what he’s described of Jesus in the first half of chapter 2. What a masterpiece. Paul then describes Epaphroditus as one who is in need of the Philippians exampling the “living word of life and humble, selfless service of Christ.” How clever the Spirit is, to pen such a magnetic call to the Christians through Paul.

But one section stands out to me today. While the direction of Paul is to illuminate the character of Jesus’ humility and selfless service to man-kind, we are NOT to live so abased that we lose sight of our interests.
The punch line for me is to not be so ascetic in mind that I don’t care for myself, or my own interests. I’m called to be generous, selfless, humble, sacrificial - but only Jesus can and will be my True role model. I’m called to be like Him - but not Him.

I guess the balance is found in the way I give of myself and sacrifice for others. Am I motivated by guilt or being a man-pleaser? Am I influenced by the culture of giving, where I don’t think to consider my motive to please Jesus? At times, living by culture and “the way I grew up” has superseded my motive to honor Jesus. I want to discipline my heart and carnal desires but not mortify my flesh and inner man to the point where I’m not caring for myself and interests of my family.

I don’t want to feel selfish - and I want to live selflessly. Yet I must not be driven or influenced by guilt, peer pressure, culture pressure to be selfless. Selfless unto Christ, is what I long for!
Whew Jesus - what a word. Help me to continue processing this one by Your Spirit, not by my selfish desires or ways. Help me to live selflessly unto You - for the right reasons, with God centered motives.
Spirit of God, convict me of my sin - any sin that would lead me away from growing into Your image! I love You!

Devotions for June 12

1 Kings 12
2 Chronicles 10,11
Philippians 2

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