Care About Others

May 5, 2018

Philippians 2:3-4… Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

            This sounds so doable. We might even skip over it, thinking, “I’ve got this.” I have noticed how hard this is on a daily basis. I might be able to do it successfully once or twice, but consistently? I don’t think so. He gives us  bit of wiggle room. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests.” He does not tell us to ignore our own interests; he tells us to add to them. That helps because it is not easy to ignore my own interests. I am attentive to what interests me. That seems to come naturally. Looking to the interests of others does not come naturally. It is a bit of work. I must listen. Mike, from Mike and the Mechanics, put a line in a song, “Living Years”… “You can listen as well as you hear.” The first time I heard that line, it nailed me. I, in public places, can hear conversations but I don’t listen to them. I find that I do that even when I am supposed to listen. Just this past week, a man introduced me to someone and by the time I addressed the man, I had forgotten his name. That is a small example, but it serves to remind me that I need to listen. And I need to do a little work to remember. To effectively show interest in another’s interests, we must remember what those interests are. That was an interesting sentence.

            Make a habit of asking others about something that you have learned about them.  That will help you remember. Don’t be blatantly obvious about it, though. That could become controlling and insincere. When we look to the interests of others, we are changing how we naturally think. It is not a means to an end. I think I can tell you who is really interested in me and who isn’t. I haven’t thought that before… and it is disturbing me because i can count on one hand the people who really are interested in me. i suspect people can tell the same about me. And when I am suffering through a trial, I only want to talk with those people who care. I am beginning to see how important this is. That is the joy of reading the Bible. It shows me parts of my character that I need to change.  Or, more accurately, that I need help changing.