“She Reads Truth”, and man… does He SPEAK.
I’ve joined up with a community of Christian women who are traveling through God’s Word together, via a blog (www.shereadstruth.com), pinstagram and twitter (hashtag #shereadstruth). I stumbled across this group a couple of months ago, and have been LOVING the way my participation has given me such a thirst for God’s Word. The more I receive from Him – through prayer and meditating on His truth – the more I crave. An insatiable desire to be listening to Him, learning from Him, leaning into Him, LOVING Him. I seriously can’t.get.enough. It’s amazing.
This week we began a study in Philippians, and it’s been full of challenges. Today was no exception, and although the Lord spoke to my heart through several of the verses we read, one in particular is shouting louder than the rest. It’s this…
“Do nothing out of selfishness or empty conceit…” Philippians 2:3a
It’s so easy to read these words and just skip through them, but in slowing down and really digging into this verse, much is revealed – about His desires for me, and about my heart. Two little pieces spell it all out: “selfishness” and “empty conceit”.
The Greek word for “selfishness” is “eritheia”. It’s an attempt to put yourself forward as better than others. It connotes a partisan and factious spirit – one that is self-seeking. Of course no one likes to think of themselves this way, but honestly… any secret aim I have to do better than others – whether it’s through ministry, reputation, my gifts and talents, my charity, WHATEVER – it is eritheia. There is no holiness in such efforts and I need to get rid of it all. How? If my eyes truly are on Jesus, then how I measure up to others won’t even enter the picture. He needs to be my focus… always. Dang… we have so far to go.
Next comes this little diddy: “empty conceit”. The original word is “kenodoxia” and it literally means “hollow glory”. The praise I receive from man looks (and let’s be honest, FEELS) beautiful and desirable, but it is devoid of any good or eternal value. To live for the glory of this day is a hollow and empty pursuit.
Selfish ambition has to do with personal goals… accomplishments
Empty conceit refers to a desire for personal glory and acclaim… an over-inflated self image.
Where are these present in my life?
My marriage – Am I seeking to “outdo” my husband in any area of our life?
My parenting - Am I looking for recognition from my kids for all I do for them? Am I seeking constant validation from them?
My friendships – Am I jealous of my friends? Am I guilty of measuring myself against who they are & what they have?
My workplace – Do I work as unto the Lord, and not men? Do I do all I can to encourage my coworkers in their efforts?
Within the Church - Do I resent someone else’s ministry? Have I tried to use Christian service as a means of exalting myself, rather than Him?
Selfish ambition and empty conceit — this so not what God has for us. Not only does selfishness and pride not bring glory to God… it’s not going to satisfy us either. On the surface, we may feel good about our accomplishments and recognition, but inside? Inside, we know the truth.
TRUE grounds for glorying are found in GRACE.
“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…” Phil. 3:3
The antidote for the poison of our self-centeredness is found in the remainder of Phil. 2:3…
“…but in humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves.”
Want to please the Father? Want harmony and unity? Want REAL glory?
Here’s your key.