by Paul Tautges | August 27, 2012 11:17 am
Over the years, as I have meditated on the implications of the numerous “one-another” commands in the New Testament, I have come to some sobering conclusions about our relationships.
What keeps us from thinking this way—the correct, biblical way? What keeps us thinking that it is all about us? It is the selfishness of sin. It is self-concern, self-glory, self-preoccupation, and self-interest. Sin infects all of our relationships, as Paul Tripp writes:
Sin altered every thought, desire, word, and deed. It created a world of double-mindedness and mixed motives, self-worship and self-absorption. People desired to be served, but they hated serving. They craved control and nurtured delusions of self-sufficiency. They forgot their Creator, but worshiped his creation. Rather than loving people and using things to express it, people loved things and used people to get them.
Therefore, what is needed is a redemptive view of our relationships, which I prefer to call “others-esteem.” “Others-esteem” is the mindset that will energize our application of every one of the other one-another commands. Since this mindset is the fruit of humility, there is one primary place in Scripture to dwell upon in order to develop the doctrine of others-esteem.
Please take a few moments to read and think upon the truths found in Philippians 2:3-11. Three major concepts emerge from the text. First, take notice of the exhortation to humility of mind (vv. 3-4). This mindset fights against self-exaltation and feeds “others-esteem.” Second, notice the example of the humility of Jesus (vv. 5-8). Jesus did not adhere to the rights of His position, but instead assumed the posture of a servant and acted upon the Father’s will. Third, notice the exaltation Jesus will ultimately receive because of His humility (vv. 9-11). The Father will exalt the Son because of the Son’s willingness to humble Himself and be humiliated by others. As a result, one-day every knee will bow to His lordship.
How can we follow the example of Jesus? How can we intentionally cultivate “others-esteem”?
This week, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to cause us to apply “others-esteem” to our relationships. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph 5:1-2).
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