"Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity, rather, with humility, esteeming each other as superior to himself."
Friends of steemchurch let us observe the first sentence of this verse that we have just read. Remember that he had mentioned this matter before. Now I was saying Do not do anything for rivalry or vanity. He had said that some people were preaching Christ out of envy or rivalry. And we can affirm that the current difficulties of the Church are not due to doctrinal differences. They are caused by passions or human feelings such as envy and rivalries that provoke conflicts. Some people cause problems quite naturally. It seems that they are problematic people by nature, who have been born to live in permanent conflict with those around them. If we followed this request of the apostle to act without that destructive rivalry, or without envy, almost all the problems between Christians would be solved.
In view of this principle of the apostle, we will say that if you are carrying out some activity in your church through conflicts and personal confrontations, it would be better if you did not do anything at all. The same could be said if you perform activities because you expect your work to be recognized in some way by others. There are some believers who do this or that because they expect to receive public recognition of their actions and merits. Is that they are driven by a desire for prominence. And then we ask ourselves: do Christians need to be recognized, flattered, and praised for what they do? In this advice of the apostle Paul that we have just read, in the sense of doing nothing out of selfishness or vanity, and without provoking conflicts, or giving rise to rivalries, it eliminates the Christian's attitude of trying to develop his protagonism, and of trying to become in a person of importance. This way of being, so common also in our day, does not fit at all with this first part of the chapter, and is totally unauthorized by the supreme example of the Lord Jesus Christ, presented in the last part of the chapter.
The alternative presented by the apostle Paul is found in the second part of the verse. He urged the Philippians to act in the following manner: rather, with humility, esteeming each other as superior to himself. Perhaps by saying this, the writer is alluding to the problem that existed between two women: Evodia and Sintique. It is possible that each of them felt displaced by the other.
If this problem were addressed with these councils of the apostle, the problems of the desire for protagonism, of wanting to stand out, of fearing being displaced by others of our position and activities would be solved. It would also eliminate administrative problems of conflicts of competencies or functions between work committees, or managers. And no struggle to increase or maintain influence would take place. Well, then we must estimate each other as superior to ourselves. On the other hand, we must recognize that we can not resolve these natural tendencies of ours by our own forces. Does anyone believe that we can carry out the attitude described by the apostle at the end of this verse 3, to eliminate our natural and deeply rooted tendency to yield our superiority, adopting a decision to esteem each other as superior to the same ? We need to ask in prayer for help, the intervention of the Holy Spirit, to control the reactions of our old nature.
The following work was taken from the biblical school following the teacher
the biblical references are from Reina Valera 1960.