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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 



Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.


Philippians 2:3,4


Whenever I see something broken, I immediately want to fix it. I get this feeling deep in my gut that when something is broken, that everything’s out of order. It is my job to repair it, bringing balance back into the universe.


Unfortunately, I lack the skills to repair just about anything. I’m constantly dropping things when I’m trying to make repairs. Nuts. Bolts. Screwdrivers. Pliers. Nails. Hammers. Light bulbs. Glue. You name it. I can take a simple, five-minute fix and turn it into a half-day epic journey, requiring multiple trips to Lowes.


That’s why I so greatly admire people who work with their hands. I have the same basic equipment. Yes, I have eyes, arms, hands, fingers. Yes, I have tools. Yes, I have safety goggles. But it seems like I’m one of those windup monkeys that hits cymbals together while others are conducting and playing a symphony.


One thing that all repair experts can do is to quickly spot a problem and recommend a solution. A way to fix what’s broken. Some repairs are simple. Some take a little bit of time and money. Others take lots and lots of effort, skill, equipment, time, and money. And the really good repair people know when to call in someone else.


Paul sees problems within the Philippian Christian community, and he doesn’t ignore it. He doesn’t call in a consultant. No, he gets his hands dirty and goes right after the root of the problem. Actually, there were two problems.


First – Selfish ambition. The Philippian church once had a powerful unity, bringing all sorts of people together. But they had lost their harmony. They were split up into factions. They were broken up into pieces rather than being united. There were splinter groups that needed to be brought back together. There were rips in relationships that needed to be mended. And like all repairs, there was no quick fix. There’s no such thing as a Super-Glue for relationships.


Second – Vain glory. Rather than being filled with who God is and all he’s done in Christ, they had let it run out of their thinking. Out of their lives. They were spiritually barren. Without purpose. They had emptied their minds of the truth and left it empty. Funny thing though, anytime there’s an empty space, it’s unnatural for it to stay that way. Something is always trying to fill in the emptiness. They had tried to fill that emptiness with thoughts and desires for themselves.


When Paul talks about how to restore their relationships, he doesn’t strong-arm them. He doesn’t force them into a corner. He doesn’t threaten them. He also doesn’t give them a detailed checklist to follow. Instead, he does something very unusual.


Paul tells the Philippians to go in the opposite direction. And what’s the reverse of selfish ambition and vain conceit? It only takes one word to describe it: humility.


Humility is like a river. When it’s full, water rushes downstream. The force of all that water pushes homes off their foundations. It lifts trees from their roots, floating them down the river. Nothing can stand in the way of a raging river.


But then, the water level returns to normal. And then it goes even lower. Eventually, the river runs low. Water is still flowing, but it’s not nearly as powerful as it once was. When the water level is down, you can also see the banks that were once hidden.


It’s at this low point that the river demonstrates humility. What was once overpowering, strong, and proud is now just a shadow of its former greatness.


This is exactly what Paul wants the Philippians to do. To stop acting like that river with all that powerful water overflowing its banks. They are to replace that pride with words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes that resemble that river that’s running low.


And how do we do this? Paul tells us about the secret sauce for a humble life. We are to treat others like they are better than we are. We are to internally look at others and tell ourselves that they have greater value.


We’re to look at people on the other side and think, “Jesus dies for them as much as he died for me. If he loves them that much, shouldn’t I do the same thing?”


When we stop and think about Jesus death for us, and then for people on the other side, something happens. They’re no longer our enemy. They become our friend. Our brother. Our sister. Our brokenness with them is repaired. Since God died for both them and us, why would we hate them? There’s really no difference between them and us. We’re all broken and in need of repair. Only Jesus claimed to be able to fix what’s broken inside us. Our hearts. Our wills. Our desires.


And that’s a great repair.


Noodling Questions

  • What area does God seem to be most interested in repairing in your life? Why?

  • How do we react when someone else has the same brokenness as you?

  • What seems to make us more cooperative with God? Why?

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