‘For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.’ Philippians 2.21
When Paul wrote these words he was not bemoaning the state of the world but simply contrasting the attitude of many of the people around him with the example of one or two who had stuck with him through thick and thin.
His comment presents us with a stark challenge as it lays out two extremes: what is it that concerns you - your own interests or those of Jesus Christ? It is, of course, so easy to make ourselves feel guilty so perhaps a better question would be to consider how we might move more from one extreme to the other?
Perhaps a good starting point is the realisation that Jesus needs those who will care about his interests. It is tempting to think that he will grow his own kingdom and that being the Son of God, he has slightly more influence than we do in this world! It is certainly true that he reigns over all, but he also calls us to be his fellow workers. In any situation, a good approach is to ask him, “What can I do for you?”
We are usually only too aware of what we would like for ourselves, but rather than asking God to do this for you, what can you do for him today?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission