Still working on memorization:
Phillippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Phillippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or argueing.
16 hour day yesterday. Worked from 7am till 12am. Yahoo.
2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
DO NOT DO ANYTHING SELFISHLY! HUMILITY Being humble. Consider everyone better than yourself, even ppl u don't like, or don't respect, or treat u like dirt, or treat other ppl like dirt. Ppl that walk on other ppl, consider them better than yourself! How? I understand where Paul is going with this, but it is crazy to think of the possibilities. Consider thieves better than yourselves. Consider abusive husbands better than yourselves, consider child abusers etc. Ouch, how? Why? Why would I consider a molester better than myself? The first half of the verse is wonderful, the second half sounds nice when taken at face value, but when you really contemplate it, it appears to be a bit ludicrous. Then again, so was most of what Christ taught us. Consider rapists better than yoursleves because that is what Christ did. Seems almost counter-productive. Do nothing out of selfish ambition. That means more than just "Don't be selfish". It implies a lot more than that. Definition of "ambition": An eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power. American culture puts "ambition" as one of the most highly sought after qualities in a person, can ambition be separated from selfish ambition? I hope so. But as the ending of the def. goes, "such as fame or power" looks a bit ingrained. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. So don't do anything selfishly, or with the intent of selfish acquisitions. So don't do anything unless it is selfless, not sure if there is a neutral ground here. Is there bad, neutral, and good, or is neutral lying on the side of good? I think of Mother Theresa and Mahatma Ghandi. Their lives seemed to embody this verse to a "T". On the other end of the spectrum, Hitler consider himself, or his race (which he wasn't even part of) to be better than everyone else, and he did everything he did for vanity or selfishness. Ghandi lived an extremely selfless life with the purpose of human rights and, ultimately, love and peace. Mother Theresa lived her life serving God and the impoverished, never asking for anything in return, not even a vacation or anything. Ok, Just thought of another example, the writer of this verse! Paul is one of the greatest men to ever live in my opinion, selfless, devoted to God and spreading the Kingdom of God, but before his good times he was Saul, the exact opposite of this verse, a legalistic pharisee who hated Christ's followers. What an extraordinary witness, someone who has actually lived both lives! We are not being given instructions from someone who grew up in the Christian church, who thinks this is a good way to live, we are being told from someone that has personally experienced both sides of the circle, and knows which is best with no argument. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Stop whining, America. I was raised in a culture of rights, I have the right to do this, I have a right to do that, I have a right to say whatever I want, I have a right to complain. That is what it seems to boil down to sometimes, the right to complain. I feel Americans have too many rights, we have so many that we think we are all royalty. This is all just a minor irritation to some extent. However, Christians don't have rights! I believe that when I became a Christian, I gave up my rights to God when he entered my heart. I no longer hold the key to my being, and I don't think that I "have the right" to a lot of things. I have the right to trust in God, and to trust that he will take care of me. I don't have the right to whine about everything, because I don't see any good in it. I am very guilty of this though, and I won't try to hide it. I can honestly say that what I believe, is not always what I practice, but I am working on it. Do everything without complaining or arguing. I complain more than I should, not a ton, but I could definitely be more aware of what I am saying at times. Arguing is another shortcoming of mine. I am very persuasive, and I enjoy a good disagreement at times. I'm not sure if that is what Paul is talking about here, because it really doesn't seem to be wrong. He might be referring to destructive arguing, or perhaps pointless arguments that are a waste of time. I would say that there is a definite difference between a healthy debate, and a pointless/destructive argument. Do everything without complaining or arguing. When I read about martyrs, I NEVER read anything about them whining about their situations, even when being tortured. They are always patient even with their captors. This is hard to comprehend, but the closer my walk with Christ becomes, the more I understand it, maybe some day I will experience this extreme love and grace firsthand. How do you love someone as they are pulling off your fingernails? I doubt I would even be close to that strong in a time of even much less suffering. I hope to be that strong someday. I don't want to complain about my problems, especially when people are dying, or worse yet, being tortured because they simply love Christ and won't deny him. How small am I now? Do I have the "right" to complain about anything? no.