“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambitions or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”
— Philippians 2:2-4 (NIV)
Interest is a feeling of having one’s attention, concern or importance. It’s a cause to take a personal concern.
The American Heritage Dictionary says, “Willingness to give special attention to something.”
For example, we often hear people say, “I’m very concerned about you and your wellbeing. …” Today we want to focus on the word “concern” as it relates to the word interest. When people believe or think that there’s concern for them, they often respond positively.
Unconcern, however, usually produces the opposite effect.
This chapter begins with the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church to act in humility. Humility is defined as a low degree of thought or thinking.
Verse 3 of the King James Version says “in lowliness of mind.” When is the last time that our society, business, government, families or even the religious community really looked out for the concerns of others?
As believers, our love for God, His word and a sincere desire to do His will, we should understand that the needs of others often outweigh our personal concerns. I often imagine what it would be like if our world, nations and current society would display more concern in regard to the love and respect we have for one another’s importance in life.
Without a doubt we recognize that we live in extremely troubling, uncertain and uneasy times. Business and financial unsteadiness, a major medical crises (COVID-19), political and racial unrest. But most of all, a steady moral and spiritual decline. Also, I believe that several other things, such as, selfish ambition, out-of-control greed, lust for power, prestige and popularity can also be the diving forces that keeps our society from looking out for the concerns of others.
Our world is concerned with the masses of people affected by the many troubling circumstances and situations facing us now. However, what’s going to happen to the individual concerns that have been and will be here after these circumstances are over? I believe that there is hope when we look at how Jesus handled both the mass and individual crisis.
First, he fed 5,000 with one little boy’s lunch. Second, he healed a leper who was shunned and rejected by his family and community. Third, he went fishing with a tired and frustrated fisherman who improved the economics for his community and made him an even greater fisherman. Finally, he changed the life of a women at the site of an ancient well that represented severe racial and political connotations.
Therefore, whether in times of a major food shortage, He’s the miracle worker. In a deadly medical pandemic, He’s the healer. In a business, economic and personal shift, He’s the provider. And even in a volatile racial and political atmosphere, He’s the deliverer.
Faith shows us that The Master has concern for the many as well as the one.
1 Peter 1:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
The Lord is concerned about all, and that’s the way we should be, too.