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Preach it to yourself first…

23 Jun

So in a few weeks we are looking at Philippians 2:1-4. I have found myself as I prepare this talk thinking “keep it to yourself.” Normally, it isn’t good to keep your ideas about a text and application to yourself when preaching. If it is about hope you should help other people understand where they can find hope in their life. If it is about love then it is your job to help people understand that they are wildly loved by their creator. And so on…

However, some passages bring up a critique of ourselves. They deal with our greed, jealousy, and pride. This passage in Philippians 2:1-4 deals with our tendancy to tear others down and seek our own good. It isn’t uncommon for people to hear a sermon and say “I wish so and so was here to hear this talk because they need this.” But to tell the truth it isn’t uncommon for a teacher to preach a sermon on a text like this thinking “I hope so and so is here or is one of our twenty podcast listeners so they can apply this.” Now, to be completely honest, our launch team is awesome and I feel no temptation to direct it inside of the room. But I do have a temptation to direct it towards those outside of the room that people may know.

Not naming names but situations that make the name obvious. You know what I mean? You say, imagine this hypothetical situation and it doesn’t take much for people to get what you are talking about.

So for this text I am making a deal with myself. This is a sermon that I am preaching to myself. I might say “us” instead of “me” in the sermon so everyone can feel included. But this one is about me. And if someone can learn from my struggle with “selfish ambition and vain conceit” and apply it to their life…all the better.

Philippians 2:1-4
1If 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, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.