“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
The Lie of the Middle
The Bible says that the “heart is deceitful.” It creates an imaginary neutral ground, where we don’t feel selfish and are exempt from serving others. Really, there is no middle ground. Paul mentions only two options; pride or humility.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
There are really only two options for life; the counsel of the Word of God or the counsel of the wicked; the road to life or the road to destruction. There is Christ as the means of eternal salvation or vain attempts at self-righteousness, which only leads to death. There are no third options.
Jesus said “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matt 12:30)
Serve God or Self
“Follow me” Jesus said. The Lord of Heaven took on the role of a servant for our sake. He suffered and died that we might live. That is our example. There is no space for strife and vainglory following Jesus. There is also no room for the veiled selfishness of neutral ground. We are called to serve God by serving others, just as Christ served us.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”df (John 13:34)