The Things of Others

Philippians 2:4-5 ‘Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.’

The selfless mind of Christ towers above ours like a lofty peak of grandeur, formidable to the most experienced of mountaineers. But if humility is to be expressed as a valley for depth, then the humble mind of Christ is the deepest that could ever be encountered. We would gladly be exalted to the heights of virtuous living—if we could—but everything in us shrinks from the pathway downwards, by which we gain entrance to the mind of Christ.

The word ‘look’ comes from the same Greek word from whence we derive our English word ‘scope.’ A scope is something we would aim at the stars, at a microbe, or any other object for attentive observation. To look on the things of others is to make their needs our aim or goal.

Jesus did this. He was not concerned for his own tiredness, but for the need that the multitude had to eat. In the crowd, he was not simply concerned with going somewhere, but was interested in the need of the woman who touched his garment. He didn’t share the sentiments of his disciples, when they felt that the children were wasting Jesus’ time. When he saw the multitudes, he had compassion on them, seeing them as sheep without a shepherd.

If we were focused on the needs of others, making Christ’s priority ours, then we would find that we could more easily share our consolation in Christ, our comfort of love, our fellowship of the Spirit, our bowels and mercies. We would more easily be likeminded and of one accord. Let this mind be in us this day, O Lord.

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