Say “No” to “What’s in it for Me?”

Philippians 2:1-2 ESV

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

If there is any encouragement (exhortation, holy urging, consolation, summons, entreaty, comfort, intimate call, motivation, inspiration) in Christ to carry out his plan for our lives and to give courage and direction and comfort to us in carrying out his divine will and purpose for our lives…

If there is any comfort (persuasion, consolation, encouragement) from love (agape love which centers in moral preference, and which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, morally pure, godly, upright, honest, faithful, repentant, obedient and submissive to God)…

If there is any participation (fellowship, partnership, sharing in) the Spirit, which means we cooperate with God’s work of grace and with his heart transformation in our lives, and we take part in, we are involved in, and we are in solidarity with the Spirit), which is evidenced by our conduct…

If there is any affection (gut-level compassion) and sympathy (grace, mercy, compassion, a deep feeling about someone’s difficulty, and kindness, benevolence, concern, and good will) in opposition to not caring, and to not feeling others’ hurts, and to being cold-hearted and unconcerned…

Then, we are to be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. And that mind is the mind of Christ which we learn about by reading his word and by putting it into practice in our lives, and by the Holy Spirit who is God within us. So we have the mind of Christ within us. And we are to have the same love which prefers what God prefers and which obeys God’s choices (his will) for our lives.

But we need to be cautioned here for the vast majority of the institutional church, at least here in America, is following a man-made gospel and man-made religion based off business models and marketing schemes for how to grow their businesses. And so they will use the Scriptures to attempt to pressure you into uniting with them, but that is not unity with the mind of Christ nor with his love, but with the thinking of men (humans).

So, if we are to be of one mind (which is the mind of Christ), having the same love (love which comes from God and thus prefers what God prefers), and if we are to be in full agreement (which is first of all agreement with the Spirit of God) and if we are to participate (partake) in the Spirit, then this means that by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we must have died with Christ to sin and we are daily dying to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

For, if we have not, then none of the rest of this can take place, for we can’t be of the same mind and of the same love as other believers in Jesus Christ if we are not first of all in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. And we can’t have this kind of unity with other believers (professing) in Jesus Christ if they also are not in genuine relationship with Christ via death to sin and being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him in holy living.

Philippians 2:3-4 ESV

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

If all of the above (verses 1-2) are true in our lives, then the rest of this can be lived out in our lives by God’s Spirit and in his power and strength.

Therefore, we are to do nothing from selfish ambition. We are to not be self-seeking, with a “what’s in it for me” attitude, thinking only of ourselves and what we will get out of it. We are not to be looking for what we can gain from it but to what we can do to please God. And we are not to put self-interest ahead of or in place of what the Lord declares is right, or in place of what he says is in the best interest of others.

We are to do nothing from vain (useless, worthless, empty) conceit, which is pride. This has to do with a vain and empty show or performance, much like the Pharisees who liked to show off and who liked to be important and so they would put on shows of righteousness to impress others, but it was a lie. It was all a façade, and often a cover-up for the evil that they were keeping secret that they were engaged in and which was deep in their hearts.

Instead we are to be humble, realizing from where we came, and that it is only by the grace of God that we are able to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God. And we are to exalt the Lord and not ourselves and give him all the glory for everything he does in us and through us in his power and strength. And we are to be honest in our evaluations of ourselves, too, and not lie to ourselves and think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

So, instead of just thinking about ourselves, we are to look to the needs of others. We are to consider what is in their best interest, i.e. what is most beneficial to them that is for their good, for their welfare, not necessarily for what they want or for what they think they need, but for what they really need, and what would be to their spiritual benefit and/or health benefit or something that would help them physically, etc.

For all this goes back to and includes what was taught here from the beginning regarding our participation in the work of God’s Spirit, and our compassion, our like-mindedness with Christ and with his heart and mind, us preferring what God prefers, which is what is holy and righteous, and us putting on the love of God which does no deliberate harm to another. All of this will impact how we conduct our own lives and how we treat others.

But if we refuse to comply with God and with his word, and if we choose not to love as Jesus loves, and to not show compassion toward the hurting, and to be selfish and prideful and to be cold-hearted and unconcerned about how we treat others or about what they are going through, and so we choose our sinful practices over loving God and others, then we need to know that we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130)

By Jordan Kauflin, Keith Getty, Matt Merker, & Stuart Townend

Out of the depths I cry to You
In darkest places I will call
Incline Your ear to me anew
And hear my cry for mercy, Lord

Were You to count my sinful ways
How could I come before Your throne
Yet full forgiveness meets my gaze
I stand redeemed by grace alone

I will wait for You
I will wait for You
On Your word, I will rely
I will wait for You
Surely wait for You
Till my soul is satisfied

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2 thoughts on “Say “No” to “What’s in it for Me?”

  1. Amen, Sue. As my daughter used to say, “It’s not about me.” Everything boils down to love – real love, not just giving others what they want and being a doormat. As you say, it’s giving them what they NEED, which might not win us any popularity contest, but then it’s not about us, is it? 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I agree with you, Annie. Glory to God! Yes, love is about giving people what they need, and yes, it may not win us any popularity contests, but that’s ok. Thank you, Annie.


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