The Servant as a Giver

Philippians 2:3-4

I like the tongue-in-cheek definition of philosophers one of my seminary professors would occasionally use. It’s classic:

Philosophers are people who talk about something they don’t understand and make you think it’s your fault!1Johnson, S. Lewis, Jr. “Beware of Philosophy,” in Bibliotheca Sacra 119 (October–December 1962): 302–303.

Lots of philosophies are floating around, and most of them are more confusing than they are helpful. Interestingly, those that are clear enough to be understood usually end up focusing full attention on the individual. Consider a few of them:

Education says, “Be resourceful; expand yourself!”
Psychology says, “Be confident; assert yourself!”
Religion says, “Be good; conform yourself!”
Epicureanism says, “Be sensuous; enjoy yourself!”
Materialism says, “Be satisfied; please yourself!”
Pride says, “Be superior; promote yourself!”
Humanism says, “Be capable; believe in yourself!”
Philanthropy says, “Be generous; release yourself!”

Yourself, yourself, yourself. We’re up to here with self! Do something either for yourself or with yourself or to yourself. How very different from Jesus’s model and message! He offers rather a fresh and much-needed invitation to our “me-first” generation. Jesus says, in effect, “Be a servant . . . give to others!” (Mark 10:45). Now that’s a philosophy anybody can understand. And, without question, it is attainable. Just look:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4)

Know what all that means? Well, for starters, “nothing” means just that. Stop permitting two strong tendencies—selfishness and conceit—to control you! Let nothing that either of these words suggests win a hearing. Replace “selfishness” and “conceit” with “humility of mind.”

But how? By regarding others as more important than yourself. Look for ways to support, encourage, build up, and stimulate the other person.

And that requires an attitude that would rather give than receive.

Regarding others as more important than yourself requires an attitude that would rather give than receive.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

1 Johnson, S. Lewis, Jr. “Beware of Philosophy,” in Bibliotheca Sacra 119 (October–December 1962): 302–303.
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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.