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Philippians 2:4 – Self-interest in perspective

03-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

Not each noting that which is his own, but each that of others also.

The Bible does not teach that a man should not think of his self-interest. Or that a man should not love himself. Indeed, man is never called to self-love in the Bible, but that is because self-love is supposed . “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself .” Without self-love one cannot even love the other. Only those who know themselves to be unconditionally loved (namely by God) can also love the other. Paul also does not say here that we should only notice things of others , but also the things of others.

We must learn to put our own interests in proportion. Self-interest need not be ignored , but it should be put into perspective. Because why should my interests outweigh the interests of the other ? Plus, I’m just one of many. That is why Paul writes that we should also notice “the each thing of the others”. So not just someone else’s things. And not even from many others, but “from each of the others”. In short: our ‘I’ is much less important than what we like to tell ourselves.