Monday Meditation – Philippians 2:3

Posted on September 29, 2013 | 20 comments

Christian meditation is foundational to the process of hiding the word in our hearts. Beyond reading for information, meditating on scripture is about transformation. Meditation is a slow, deliberate processing of a verse or passage. Digesting and savoring the words and meaning as a wine taster does when rolling a sip of wine over the tongue to discern the many facets of flavor. Such is the art of listening to God through meditation.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3 (ESV)

This verse is totally 180 degrees opposed to the tendency of the false self. That which is false considers the Self first. Sympathy towards others may exist, but only after satiation of the desires of the Self.

And it has to be this way. The false self is self-ish, getting value from comparison, from being first or best or having the most. Good things to others are perceived as bad things for the false self by comparison. When another self is elevated, one’s worldly self feels diminished or devalued. Something is experienced as lost.

Yet, in Christ the Self can be satisfied through truth. The truth of who we were created to be and how – without our effort – we are given righteousness before God.

With a Self that receives identity and significance without comparison, others can be considered more significant. Christ in his own humility, with an identity sustained by the Father, demonstrated this ability to consider others more significant.

He was God. He WAS more significant. He did not deserve death or scorn, but rather was worthy of the worship of those among whom he walked. But he put that away for a time.

On our account. For our needs, considering our ability to experience life more significant than his own.

The false self wants to deny this. To view humility and vulnerability and submission as weakness rather than the fruit of a strong Self in Christ.

The false self wants to throw off Christ and search for that elusive wholeness apart from God. It searches in vain, becoming enslaved to many other things.

The true self is wrapped in Christ. It can thus take unfavorable comparisons without feeling it as loss.

In the true self, humility can be experienced and displayed. Comparison is not needed to build the Self up, our value being secure in the constantly given grace of Christ.

The Self is built up through connection with God.

Others gain significance because we  no longer need their affirmation, approval, or adoration. From this secure Self flows true love, mercy and compassion.

What is your response to meditating on Philippians 2:3?

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  1. Amen! I am weak but I have an awesome God.

  2. Good Morning! I am your neighbor at Sharing His Beauty.

    This is a very challenging Scripture passage, as St. Paul usually is. Breaking attachments to ‘me first’ is very counter-cultural. It’s deeply ingrained to think of myself first, and everyone else second.

    But the Lord wants to turn that around completely. Be humble, let everyone go first. That’s a challenge! But I think if I just try really hard each day, the Lord will be happy. He knows I’m not perfect, and how selfish I can be.

    Good message to read first thing in the morning. It’s a wake-up call!

  3. Yes…yes…yes…

    I know a lot of people like this – even ones that consider themselves “Christian”. I don’t think people get it. Really. I think you have spoken very wisely and beautifully on this topic.

    I have heard people say – they think about their children first, or they worry about their children to others – but in fact is by their actions, I can tell that it’s not true.

    Our Heavenly Father knows our actions and the intention of our hearts. He knows who is truly selfish and who is self-less – despite the deeds that our done in this mortal world. Instead of being judgmental of people and their actions, I really try (sometimes fail) to treat them kindly – cause in the end, it will all work out.

    Thanks so much for this lovely post! Thanks also for linking up with us at the Blog Hop!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  4. This is a good post. I’ve always wondered why it takes so long to reach the strong self. We waste so many years listening to our false self. Selfishness is pretty strong.

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

    • The Self gets stronger the more we turn to the Source of our image and identity. Thanks for joining the discussion.

  5. I love this verse for the great reminder to serve others first. That was one of Christ’s biggest messages through out the gospel, serve others, put others first.If we keep God first in our lives then putting others first before ourselves should start to come naturally. We don’t need to worry about what we get out of it, that’s not the point.

    Rewards for serving others should be the last thing on our mind, serving others because we love God and want to please Him should be first.

    It’s hard to keep the self in check, especially in such a “me, myself and I” world but with scriptures like this to help us remind ourselves it becomes a bit easier.

    Thanks for linking up on the blog today by the way! I love how this is your goal for the week, it’s one of the best you can have.

    • Great point. We have been pre-rewarded in Christ. Thanks for reading!

  6. I love this idea – putting aside our selves can be difficult but also extremely beneficial.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  7. I found your verse today very timely for a project I plan to embark on next month. This verse will definitely help with the challenge–thanks for sharing it.

    • Glad it was useful! Thanks for dropping by.

  8. awesome!

  9. Think about it, then mutter to yourself and then think about it some more. To realize our own insufficiency and those who are much better than we are. Through Christ I am sufficient and that is enough. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

  10. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  11. No one gains friends by acting in selfishness and conceit, and no good comes from it. No one wants to be around or has respect for such a person. The opposite person are a diamond in the rough, I count myself very lucky to know one 🙂

    • I’m glad you know one too! You are blessed. Thanks for reading.

  12. Feels so ‘right on’ for me.

  13. Thanks for linking to Sunday Stillness. Opening our hearts to others is a lesson we all need to remember. And getting rid of self – that is so hard – because we are always with ourselves, aren’t we? So Christ has to become more in us to clamp down on the self. Working on this.

  14. Thanks for sharing this excellent post.

  15. I actually seem to go along with all the things that ended up being put into writing inside “Meditation Monday | Choose to Trust”.

    Thanks for all the actual tips.Thanks for your effort-Milagros

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