Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-18
In today’s world where everybody wants something for himself and no one wants to do anything except there is something in it for him, it seems almost impossible to heed to this charge; “do nothing out of selfish ambition.” It is also perfectly understandable, that in a world of so much competition and comparison and where everyone’s pursuit is to outshine others, a person cannot but be selfish and ambitious.
Selfish, as defined by the dictionary, is to be concerned only with one’s self and one’s advantage to the exclusion of others. It also means, holding one’s self interest as the standard for decision making. Ambition means a strong desire to succeed. Selfish ambition therefore means to strongly pursue success and recognition to the disadvantage of and disregard for others. A selfishly ambitious person has one singular pursuit; to be better than others, no matter what. In businesses, in relationships, in offices and in other human affairs, it is always the first natural instinct to consider one’s welfare and profit before others. There is always; the silent campaign to be preferred to others, the subtle pushing of your way to the top, not minding who gets hurt in the process, However in today’s reading, the Holy Spirit charges us to avoid every tendency of selfishness in our daily endeavors. Why?
In 2corinthians10:12-18, Apostle Paul speaks of the men, who rate themselves so highly and who make, measure, and judge themselves by their own standard as foolish. It is foolishness to set standards for yourself since you are not the one to determine whether you have done well or not. “It is when the Lord thinks well of you that you are really approved, and not when you think well of yourself.” (v.18) For Paul, there is a limit or boundary of the work which God sets for every one of His children. Success is to do great and even greater works within this set limit.
Every one of us has been uniquely equipped to do great exploit in our generation. There is a specific role and space for you. Beloved, you are made to succeed without intruding into another’s role or space or being a threat to another. Beloved, as God’s child you have the capacity to be the best of your kind within God’s plan and purpose and yet still consider others welfare before yours. The common saying; “I cannot displease myself to please others” is not scriptural; the scripture actually commands otherwise. You don’t have to feel threatened by another’s achievement nor feel a need to impress, by putting others in bad light. Seeing your place in God’s plan keeps you from the pressure of living in competition and in constant comparison with others. You can make a great impart in this generation just being who you are in Christ Jesus.
MASS: GREEN Heb 12: 4-7. 11-15; Ps 103: 1-2. 13-14. 17-18a; Mk 6: 1-6
- Lord, open my eyes to see my place and role in Your purpose.
- Father, forgive me for the many times I destroyed the character of others just to elevate myself.
- Pray for persons whose stock in trade is to run others down so as to discredit their genuine efforts in God’s vineyard.
Exercise: Pray today to choose to forget your own comfort and be part of the International Retreat for all Distributors, Partners and Users of Daily Strength Devotional on Thursday 27th to Friday 29th April 2017 holding at the Jubilee Retreat and Conference Centre, Effurun, Warri, Delta State.
Meditation: Phil. 2:4