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Saturday, July 19, 2014


I really struggle with Philippians 2:1 – 18.  The reason it is such a struggle is that the meaning is crystal clear.  We are to put others before ourselves.  For me, that is a tough assignment.
Ever struggle with putting others before you?  Thoughts at DTTB.
However, there are times, well it has to be the Lord’s intervention in my life, when I am able to get past my selfishness and serve, to put others first.

This morning was one of those times.

The exhilaration of helping others move into a different level of involvement with their Lord was stunningly overwhelming.  Four hours flew by for me.  Flew by to the point that I had to force a break in the workshop.  I was so focused on what we were doing that taking a break did not occur to me.  They reminded me.

I left energized and excited.  I think I have six new friends.


When you pour your life into others, put them first, it is you that gets rewarded.


  1. Mike - I am trying to draw a bright line as to where we are obligated to put others first and when we shouldn't. Seems like it should be easier than it is turning out to be.

    Do I stop when I begin to hurt myself in some way (seems like it shouldn't ever get that far).

    Do I stop when I sense I am being manipulated (seems like this would be out of context of the verses)?

    What if I am just trying to avoid a conflict? Hmmmmm, I'd just like this to be a little more tidy than it is in my head right now.

    1. Ky - I really do not want to answer this. It is one of the reasons I do not like Philippians 2:1 - 18. The kicker for me is the first thing Paul used to substantiate his exhortation, Christ's attitude. As you know in other places Paul tells us to imitate Christ.

      So if I run your questions, and frankly they are mine as well, through the grid of Christ's attitude - I am not sure that I like the answers.

      Did Christ stop when He began to hurt himself in some way?

      Did Christ stop when He sensed He was being manipulated?

      Did Christ attempt to avoid conflict?

      The thing I really do not like about this passage is Paul's reinforcing examples. He removes the possibility of hyperbole, when he uses himself, Timothy, and Epaphroditus as having done exactly what he outlines in the first part of the chapter - Paul, emptied himself - poured out as a drink offering; Timothy - seeks after the interests of Christ not his own; Epaphroditus - served to the point of death.

      It is a hard, hard passage. Not to understand but to accept and apply. At least it is for me.

    2. Yeah Bro, I hate it too. I keep wrestling with it trying to find a boundary that makes sense. I'm thinking (always dangerous) that where He said no, maybe we should too. The moneychangers always come to mind because in my head, Jesus kicks some serious tail. He didn't permit that activity because they were defiling God and taking advantage of others. That's kind of a cheap argument on my part as I look for a way out of putting others first, but the "disciple" who wanted to bury his father was also told no and his motives appear to be (at face value anyway) pretty reasonable. Heavy sigh - please make it black and white with easy baby steps....

    3. Right, easy. I wonder if the answer is in John 5:19? That we follow the lead of The Lord. That is we walk with Him and do what He wants us to do in each situation. For me that is not easy. It seems that I have to be in constant prayer, trusting Him to lead me in the situation. I know that I do not have the wisdom on my own to determine the "boundaries." There have been too many times when the boundaries that I chose were inappropriate either too lenient or else too strict.

      Personally, I have a hard time listening well.

  2. Ha - its like I hear myself talking :) Linear thinking (give me a hard boundary)gets you into exponential trouble.

    Thanks for all your posts/thoughts. I love 'em