This week, we are taking one final look at the spiritual enemy of self-absorption as we learn how to be transformed into self-sacrificing people.
Self absorption: being preoccupied with our thoughts, feelings, desires, and concerns above all else.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
- Philippians 2:1-2
The call on our life as a part of this church is to have one mind, which means we can disagree on so many preferences, because in the end, personal preferences don’t matter. We have a mission, goal, and focus as a church to take the Gospel to our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members - together (Philippians 1:27).
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
- Philippians 2:3-4
Paul tells us to do nothing in a way that is self-serving, self-glorifying, self-seeking. If we constantly consider ourselves first, we will not be able to have the same mind or strive together for the glory of God in our community. We must remember that people don’t exist to serve us - we exist to serve others and put their needs before ours.
The Bible is really clear on this - to follow Jesus is to walk, live, and think in such a way that we are radically others-centered in the everyday workings of life.
And that’s why we want to end this entire series with one final Personal Liturgy challenge: to serve one person sacrificially each day.
Like everything else we’ve done in this Personal Liturgy series, this will take effort and work. But there is hope for living in the vision God has for His people:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- Philippians 2:5-8
Jesus, the only one who deserved to be exalted, chose to humble Himself and be obedient to the Father. He took the form of a servant, giving up His rights and laying down His preferences, to go to the cross on our behalf. Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who was not self-absorbed, but rather, self-sacrificing.
Jesus looked in the face of all of our self-absorption and self-exaltation and He died for it. Jesus gave Himself away so that prideful, weary, conceited sinners like us could be brought back into relationship with God...but then He sends us back into the world to do the same for others.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Philippians 2:9-11
And now we lay down our self-absorption to see Jesus more and more exalted in our lives, in our church family, and in our city.