Daily Devotions


Day 34

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition…”

Text: Philippians 2:3


The apostle Paul did not mince words when he dealt with the danger of disunity. The source of the danger may be from within the church!

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Philippians 2:3

1. The use of “italics” in the NKJV text

a) The phrase “be done”” is written in italics.
b) This means that the translators are making a suggestion as to how to understand the text that Paul wrote.
c) There was no “verbal idea” when Paul wrote this text.

2. Literal translation

a) “Nothing according to selfish ambition or conceit” (author’s free translation).
b) Paul could therefore be saying:-
i) That selfish ambition or conceit should not be entertained.
ii) The root problem may be the selfish desires and conceit lurking or residing in the heart.

3. “But in lowliness of mind”

a) Paul used a very strong contrastive conjunction here (Greek “alla”).
b) He offered a strong alternative to “selfish ambition and conceit”.
c) He suggested that there should be deep humility (Greek “tapeinophrosune”).
d) The phrase “lowliness of mind” means “deep humility”.
e) It is a little archaic but it is a good phrase to bear in mind.
f) The word Paul employed suggests that the mind is actively involved.
g) The mind must think humbly.

4. “Let each esteem others better than himself”

a) This is the actual practice of the concept “lowliness of mind”.
b) The truly humble has a high regard for others.
c) He esteems others better than himself.
d) He does not promote himself nor will he contend with others aggressively.
Instead he seeks to give honour to others.