Bible Commentary

PHILIPPIANS 15: Getting Along in a Get-Ahead World (Phil 2:3-4)

rembrandt-apostle_paulInstead of being motivated by selfish ambition or cheap boasting, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.”(Phil 2:3-4)

As a basketball coach I know full well the power of “teamwork”. When five players on the court are operating as a unit, working together, helping each other out, backing each other up and pushing each other forward there is success. When players “treat one another as more important” than themselves, beautiful things happen. A great assist by the point guard makes the scorer shine. A great scorer makes the point guard look good. Tough defense creates steels and keeps the ball in our hands for more points. When all five players “box out” their man we secure the easy rebound. When players treat one another as more important than themselves, everybody benefits and we have a chance to win the game.

On the other hand, when each player is “motivated by selfish ambition or cheap boasting” there is division and the whole team suffers. Certainly, certain individuals may make the headlines for a high scoring game, but chances are the team came up short and lost the game. One player gets the glory, but the team suffers. And basketball is a team game, and the goal is to win.

We find the same principle applies in the game of life. When we treat one another as obstacles in our way to personal success and glory, then we compete with and walk over each other on our way to the top. If we don’t get trampled along the way and we actually make it to the top, we often find the top a lonely place. We sacrificed the team for our own selfish gain. The Revolutionary Way of Christ is never “motivated by selfish ambition.” Rather, we are called to treat one another as teammates rather than enemies, to work together, push each other forward, lift each other up and play together as a unit.

Here’s the key difference between the American Way and the Way of the Revolutionary Christian: The goal of the Revolutionary is not to win by forming a team; rather becoming a unified team that functions harmoniously together in moving toward a common goal IS winning itself!

Let us stop trying to GET AHEAD and instead focus our energy on try to GET ALONG! The Jesus Revolution depends on it.

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