Life’s Instruction Manual Part 2

Philippians 2:3 “3 [Let] nothing [be done]
through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
other better than themselves.”

This is in the top five of my favorite verses in the entire Bible. I really sums up how we should think of one another and behave towards each other.

The phrase, “Love they neighbour as thyself.” appears ten times in the Bible, and the concept is taught many, many times. It is undoubtedly the most well known concept, and it’s a good ideal to live by.

I like the Philippians verse more. It tells us that we should think of other people as being better than ourselves, more important. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have any worth, it only speaks to our relationship and interaction with other people and how we should think of them.

The web site Dictionary.com defines strife:

noun

1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: to be at strife.
2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash: armed strife.
3. competition or rivalry: the strife of the marketplace.
4. Archaic. strenuous effort.

And vainglory:

noun

1. excessive elation or pride over one’s own achievements,
    abilities, etc.; boastful vanity.
2. empty pomp or show.

Why you say or do something matters. What is your real motivation?

Far too often I’ve seen gossip and meddling cloaked in a aura of concern. Most of the time, they aren’t really fooling very many people. You may even have convinced yourself that you’re really just trying to help, but God knows your true motive.

Some people can only make themselves look good or feel good by bringing someone else down. Make them look or feel worse. That is in direct opposition of everything the Bible tells us about how our relationships with one another should be.

You don’t need to sabotage a coworker to advance. You don’t have to trash talk someone to break their friendship with someone else. You don’t have to cheat or steal to get ahead in this life. You don’t have to make someone look ignorant or stupid to look smart yourself.

When you do these things, you’re more transparent than you think you are. Everyone around you knows what you’re doing. It reveals you true personality and intentions – cruel and heartless.

And for what? What have you really gained?

Think about what you have lost.

You have not been lifted in anyone’s eyes. You’ve lost esteem and respect. You’ve lost your dignity.

You’ve exposed yourself as a fraud, and people will distance themselves from you. You’ve done things that you are going to have to answer for in Heaven.

I’ve read near-death experiences where people say they have gone through a life review. They were forced to experience the pain that they inflicted on others in their lifetime. I believe that this is true.

Give some thought to the words that you say and how you say them, the next time you do, or don’t do something for someone else. It’s important – more important than you probably think.

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