Do nothing out of selfish ambition

God truly sends blessings along the way of life’s journey and I can think of three Christian men who I would consider diamonds to me personally. One of those blessings to me is a gentleman well into his 70’s. In my studies of authentic New Testament faith and practice I have sought his advice out and he has been so generous to correspond and to dialog with me in seeking out answers. But he has also been so gracious never making me feel belittled and has shown honor and concern for my family.

Another gentleman that I have known for years, who discipled me in the beginning of my years of ordination and who I seek counsel from today as a spiritual father. He has always been there for me speaking to me the things that I needed to hear sometimes stern, but mostly words of encouragement. His guidance is priceless and there are few words adequate to express my gratitude for this relationship.

But my former Pastor Bud & his dear wife Ruth Curtis who have now passed on into the presence of God to receive their crown of glory who discipled Denise and I , I can only hope that when we are in our older years we can express the same care , encouragement and pleasure of blessing the next generation of men and women of God.

Each of these relationships never lorded over me their prestigious positions, titles or wealth of experience but has taken the role of servants. With generosity they have expended their lives for the betterment of the body of Christ.

Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

So what does it mean to live in harmony with one another? The Greek word here is “phronesis”, it expresses a way of understanding or practical reasoning that has concern for another, a kind of comprehensive moral discernment.

Paul uses this same Greek word in the letter to the Philippians.

Philippians 2:2-4 (New International Version)

2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:5 (New International Version)

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus

The words translated “like-minded’ and “attitude” come from the same word, phronesis. Paul is saying we are to live with one another in a way that our thoughts, feelings and actions should model the character of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this we must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us humility and in doing so treat one another with the utmost respect and honor. The question arises; do we have this heart attitude to those we consider beneath us? It’s much easier to express this to those who we feel are greater or equal to our status in life, but it is my prayer that we would model Jesus Christ who emptied himself and became a servant to all.