3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 … in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
20 I have no one like (Timothy) who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.
Paul is writing to the church and encouraging them to be humble and to serve others by considering them “more significant” than themselves.
And this serving of others is to be done joyfully, not grumbling.
What’s more is, he acknowledges the people you will be serving are “twisted and crooked”.
The contrast in their lives, however, will allow them to shine like a light in darkness.
If this sounds like nearly impossible living, it’s because it is.
Even Paul, the greatest teacher and theologian and church planter, only had one person around him he can think of that lives like that… Timothy.
“Conceit” and “Grumbling” … Paul seems to have both ends of a life of serving others dealt with here.
Conceit- “Of course I’m serving others. I’m a better person than they are!”
Grumbling- “Why should I bother with this serving? I have may own problems to deal with!”
He also provides the solution to both these problems.
How can I be conceited when it is God who does the work in me?
And how can I grumble when it’s not even for myself or others that I serve, but it is “for His good pleasure”?
Even with a solution provided, is this easy? Absolutely not!
And the difficulty of living a life like this is not a function of “today’s world” or “this generation”.
It has always been this way.
The “good ol’ days” are seen through a filter of sorted memories.
The fact is every generation is “twisted”, even the first generation after Jesus was on earth.
This lifestyle is humbling.
It is hard.
Paul, himself, only had one person who would be “genuinely concerned” for others welfare.
But it’s worth it!
To shine like a light … for His good pleasure.
Thank you again God for your Word.
Help me actually love it out.
You give me your will, now give me your work.
Help me see your joy and keep me from grumbling or conceit.
Help me see you in other.
In Jesus name,