“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:1-3).
In Philippians 2:1-3, Paul uses God’s wonderful blessings given to us as motivation for us to give back to Him. We have received consolation and comfort of love in Christ. We have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Incredible mercies have been bestowed upon us through Christ. What Paul encourages us to give to the Lord is a humble heart in our dealings with other believers. Doing this results in humility. But we cannot exhibit humility in our relationship with others if we are consumed with our own welfare and what other people think of us.
Humility can be defined in many ways, one of which is the absence of pride. Normally, pride is described as arrogance, but that is just one facet of pride. Timidity is another facet of pride, because, in its simplest form, timidty is self-centeredness, A timid person, just like a person who promotes himself, is self-centered and concerned with his own welfare. Paul gives the solution to self-centeredness in these verses—to think of others better than ourselves.
“Bear one another’s burdens,” Paul says in Galatians 6:2-3, “and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
In Galatians 6:2 Paul gives instruction that we are to help others carry their burdens. He says in Galatians 6:3 that if we think we are too important to stoop down and help others with their burdens, then we are deceived about our own importance.
Our self-importance—our worry about what others think—our concern about how we value ourselves—profit us nothing. None of us are anything of ourselves. None of us have any good excuse for not helping restore our fellow believers. This was one of the blatant hard-hearted sins of the Pharisees.
In the Amplified Bible Classic Edition Galatian 6:3 reads, “If any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.”
Most people are rarely deluded and deceived by someone else’s arrogance and pride. The trouble is the difficulty we have in recognizing our own self-centeredness. We have the power to delude and cheat ourselves or to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s estimation of our worth in Jesus. Our true sense of worth is found only in Christ. There is no deceit in Christ. So we choose to not be deceived. We choose not to think that we are above anyone else. We choose not to debase Christ’s worth in our lives. We choose to reach beyond ourselves.
We fulfill the Law of Christ—we reveal the true worth of His love in us—when we are not too important or too prideful to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to help others carry their burdens. Jesus had no lofty ambition. He never asked anyone about their sin before he healed them. The sin Jesus addressed was the hard-heartedness of those who judged others harshly by the Old Testament Law instead of by the Law of His Love. We are to be one-minded with Jesus. We are to love with His love without condemnation and hypocrisy.
Don’t deceive yourself. You are in Christ. You have received the consolation and comfort of His love. You have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Make Jesus’ joy complete. He humbled himself and fulfilled the whole Law for you. In humility, fulfill His Law of Love. Whether you are bold or shy, let nothing point to yourself. Reach beyond yourself in His love. In humility, esteem others better.