August 12, 2018
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
Casey Stengel made a comment about the challenge of managing a professional baseball team. He said, “It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part.” His observation applies to life in general. Working together is hard. Anyone who has had to do a group project can attest to that!
The Apostle Paul understood the value of working effectively with others. He emphasized teamwork for the Philippian church because he knew that mutual effort was the best way for the church to succeed. He said to “consider others better than yourselves.” This does not mean we have to deny what God has given us, but it does mean we need to value highly what God has given others. Everyone has some skill that makes him or her better than we are at some things. Each of us contributes a unique combination of gifts and personality to life. We all need to be accountable and cooperative to get the get the best from and for everyone.
Life and Christianity are team sports. To focus only on ourselves and our own interests at the expense of others will ultimately leave us isolated and ineffective. The key to success is compromise and negotiation. Pride and selfishness hinder a team from being successful. Jesus instructed everyone, even leaders, to lay aside pride and live to serve others in an unselfish manner.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to give up the destructive attitude of selfishness. Guide us to do your work together in a wise and respectful manner. Amen.