Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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From the Preacher’s Pen: Selfishness

ImageSelfishness is perhaps the single human characteristic most destructive to the unity of God’s people. When men are more concerned with their own desires and will, and less interested in the welfare of the many, division is the natural consequence.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he wrote, “I implore Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (4:2). These words strike the only sour chord in Paul’s letter of love to that congregation. It seems that strife existed between the two women, and Paul admonished them directly.

Earlier in his letter there is a possible explanation for the conflict, as Paul expressed in the second chapter the basis for unity among believers. He wrote, “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. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (2:1-4). The ladies may have been acting selfishly.

Selflessness is the example set by our Lord (cf. 2:5-8). If Jesus had acted selfishly, not mindful of our needs, He would have remained in Heaven with the Father. If He had, He would not have secured our redemption. We rejoice that our Lord was more concerned for us than for His own welfare. And, we should follow His example.