Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others as better than yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. (NIV)
Sometimes I have thoughts that I don’t want anyone else to know I have. Not because they are hateful or viscous but because they look ugly. They’re selfish and self seeking. And I suspect I’m not alone.
It’s like when your friend’s kid gets accepted to the school you wanted your kid to go to. You might say “Oh congratulations on Ryan getting into XYZ school. I’m so happy for you”. But you’re really thinking, darn, that means there’s one less spot for my kid. Or when your spouse’s partner gets the promotion that you thought your husband deserved, you politely smile and congratulate him but you’re secretly throwing daggers.
Now you probably don’t want to have those feelings or to think that way but sometimes the temptation is so palpable you just go there. We all do.
It’s our flesh talking not our spirit.
The other week I was traveling and I knew I’d miss my tennis match. My heart wanted my teammates to win but my flesh didn’t want me to lose my spot on the court for the next week.
In other words my heart wanted to go to the right place but my mind was trying to take me to a dark place. A place of selfish ambition.
So I went to God and shared my struggle. Oh He already knew where I was but I think He was glad to hear it from me.
I prayed for my teammates in a very unselfish way. The right way. The God honoring way.
Here are 5 things I’ve learned that help my head and my heart to work as one on the right way to think.
1.The more I trust God the more my thoughts are aligned with His.
2.The more I trust God the more I realize I’m not in control.
3.The more I trust God the more I can relax in spite of what my circumstances look like because I know He has a plan.
4.The more I trust God the more I realize it’s not about me. Never was.
5. It’s about Him. And how He wants us to love others the way He loved us.
Philippians 2:4-8 goes on to say, “ In your relationships with one another have the the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross.” (NIV)
When we trust God we can better love like Him, not by trying to take it all… but by giving it all.
And He’ll take care of the rest of the stuff.
The rest of the school enrollments. The rest of the job promotions. And the rest of the tennis matches.