Scripture For Today: Philippians 2:1-8
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Usually being an enabler is a bad thing. It usually means you are making an addict able to have the thing that is destroying their life. But there is a good kind of enabler too. That is one that enables those around them to find the life that Jesus Christ has purchased for them on Calvary. A life of joy unspeakable and full of glory. Jesus was an enabler, and today I want to encourage you to be like Jesus by being an enabler of others joy in Him.
“When we value others as worthy and pursue their best, we help them to find life and life more abundantly”
“If” in verse one of chapter two is to be understood as “since”. Since there is a desire on your part to console me in my condition, since there is the love of Christ flowing through you to me, since we are partakers of the same Holy Spirit and are filled with His mercy and compassion, there ought to be an action that is the result of all that Christ has done and is doing in them. Paul goes back to the end of chapter one and says that the action ought to be a continued and increasing unity as they strive together for Christ and that will complete his joy as he hears of their unity in Christ.
Paul goes on to give instruction to them on how to live together in unity. He tells them that there are two things they must have for their unity to be noteworthy and glorifying to God. First, they must have the perspective of humility. They are to check their motives and make sure that nothing they do is done with the desire for self promotion or of being seen as greater than those others around you. A perspective of humility puts self last: Jesus first, others second, self last. It is to look around the room, see everyone there, and to perceive them all as being of a higher rank than yourself, more worthy of being served and honored. Second, they must have the pursuit of each others best at the expense of their own. They are commanded to care for the things and needs of others as much as they do their own. This is the work of a servant, to look to the affairs of others reputation, health, needs, pursuits as strongly as you do your own. Perspectives and pursuits will enable unity or destroy it. Paul then reminds them that this is the way of Jesus, esteeming others as higher in rank and seeking their highest good at the expense of His own life.
The unity of our church, the joy in each of our lives, and the work of the ministry will be only partially done until this perspective and pursuit is seen as an essential of Christ like living. We can not simply follow a set of rules that eliminate some activities and mandate others and end up like Jesus. It is in the perspective of the value of others and the seeking of others highest good as strongly as we seek our own that we find true Christlikeness. This is what brought Him here and allowed Him to become sin for us who knew no sin. He valued our lives and sought our best and we now can have life and life abundantly. When we value others as worthy and pursue their best, we help them to find life and life more abundantly. Become an enabler!