Posted by Rodger Woodworth

Have you ever walked into a meeting or social setting with strangers and immediately began to imagine where you are on some fanciful ladder of comparison?  I have – I think men are especially susceptible to this.  Well, Paul teaches that I am to count others as more significant than myself (Philippians 2:3 ESV).  Yes, even those who are uneducated or jobless, too young or too old, too different or too disagreeable, are to be counted not just as equals but as more significant than me.
Paul’s point is not what others are but what you count others to be.  And the focus in not on how well they read or how much money they make, the color of their skin or their political views, the focus is: Will you count them as worthy of your friendship, encouragement or help?  Not are they worthy of your investment of time and energy but will you count them as worthy?  Will you take thought not just for your interests but for theirs?  Will you encourage then, take the time to get to know them, help them and build them up.  Will you stop your daily pleasures long enough to show interest in them?
And how does this other-oriented commitment come to pass?  Verse 3 says, “In humility count others more significant than ourselves.”  It comes from humility.  Literally: “lowliness.”  This is the great opposite of a sense of entitlement.  Humility is the opposite of “You owe me.”  Paul said, “For I have a great sense of obligation to people in our culture and to people in other cultures, to the educated and uneducated alike” (Romans 1:14 NLT).  In other words, they didn’t owe him.  He owed them.
Why?  Why are we Christians to have a humble sense that we owe service to others?  Because God so loved us that he gave his only Son.  He treated us as worthy of his service, when we were everything other than worthy.  He counted us as greater than himself.  That is where our humility comes from; this overwhelming act of God’s grace, this moment-by-moment grace promised for eternity.
Now imagine how different our world could be if we actually counted others as more significant.  Maybe a more civil political discourse and a less segregated Sunday morning church.  Just imagine the possibilities!  God did imagine it, that is why he sent his Son.