In a world where selfishness is the norm, where arrogance is exalted, and where pushing your way to the top no matter who you have to hurt is rewarded, it is refreshing (and a bit odd) to see examples of people who take these words seriously.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV)

You see an example of this unselfish living when a mother gives up her job so that she can stay at home with her newborn. She knows that her family could use the income. She knows that she is a capable woman and that the affirmation she would receive from the job is not as important as the love and nurturing her child will receive with her being at home with her.

You see this Christ like attitude when a man refuses to compromise his faith, his principles, and his convictions to close a deal. You see it when he works fewer hours so that he can attend his daughter’s soccer game. You see it when he gives up a promotion that would mean more money and a more prestigious title, but require him to travel because he wants to be home for dinner with his family.

You see a person truly considering the interests of others when he sets aside his convenience so that someone else can be more comfortable. He works hard so that others can relax. He sacrifices so that others can have. He goes out of his way to see others have a good time and when you try to compliment him he shifts the attention to someone else. His humility is real.

It is refreshing to see these examples yet it is also almost sad that an example of genuine humility would stand out, that it would be different, that it would be considered extraordinary. Paul was talking to Christians, he still is. He was addressing the church, he still is. When will we start living like we are called to live? Why are there so few living examples of men and women who "forget themselves long enough to lend a helping hand?"

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 1:1-4 The Message)

Questions like these will haunt us until you and I face the fact that it starts with you and me right now. I must stop "sweet-talking my way to the top." I must "put myself aside, and help others get ahead." I must stop being "obsessed with getting my own advantage." I must be "concerned not only about my own interests, but also the interests of others."

It must start with me. And it must start now.