Esteem others better
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
So, I had a revelation this week and it pretty much changed my way of thinking forever. Let me back up a little and talk about how this revelation came about. I have been doing a study on honor in my personal time. All through the scripture God talks about honoring others, honoring authority, honoring leaders, honoring in the home, and honoring in the workplace. As I contemplated the idea of honoring others, I remembered today’s verse about esteeming others better than myself. Then I remembered this passage in Psalms 91. “I call upon Him, and He answers me; He is with me in trouble; He delivers me and honors me.”(Psalms 91:15) What? God honors me? That’s when the revelation hit me that God esteems me better than Himself. Just as today’s verse tells us to esteem others better than ourselves, God esteems or thinks of us better than Himself. Wow! I know this is a bold saying, and just like the disciples often said to Jesus, “Lord, increase our faith!” I had to say to my Heavenly Father, “Father, increase my faith!”
So let’s think about it . . . First of all, God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He hasn’t already done or is doing right now. He is our example and He said in Ephesians 5 to imitate God as dear children. Every commandment He gave us is because its the way He lives and they are His ways. His principles and precepts are what is required to live like Him in His kingdom. Second, He laid down His life for us. I don’t think you can esteem anyone higher than by giving your life for them. He was willing to give everything He had just so I could be His child. “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) Lastly, He receives us now as His family. He has made us His children. Which of you wouldn’t regard your own child higher than you would yourself?
Esteem means to regard highly (give importance to) and favorably regard with respect and admiration. This revelation has completely changed my thinking when reading God’s Word. Everything He asks me to do in His Word, I consider that He has done it first. He didn’t give me His Word to try to control me, it was to show me how to live successfully in His Kingdom the way He lives! Every example He wants me to be to others is the example He has given first. I want to clarify right here that I am not saying in any way that we are better than God. That would be ridiculous!! I am simply saying God puts us in a place of greater importance in His kingdom than He does Himself. It’s the reason He gave His life to save us. We are precious to Him! So precious that He gave His one and only Son Jesus to get us back!!
Today I want to encourage you to, first of all, follow God’s example to esteem and honor others better than yourself. Secondly, to meditate on God’s thoughts for you. Think about that great love He has for you! Consider how He emptied and made Himself of no reputation to become like you. That He laid down His life for you. Lastly, keep your heart set on this great love and esteem as you read God’s Words to you. It will completely revolutionize the way you view the Holy Scripture and remember, we love Him because He first loved us! (1 John 4:19)
Today’s scripture reading: Philippians 2:1-4