“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
Every conflict that you go through in a relationship has an element of pride mixed into it. What is the middle letter of the word “pride”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “crime”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “sin”? I.
We have an “I” problem! “I” want what “I” want and “I” want it now, and that causes all kinds of problems. In any relationship, never let pride be your guide, because pride is the root of every other sin.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (NIV). Paul says that there are two conflict-creating kinds of pride. One of them is selfish ambition and the other is vain conceit. Selfish ambition says, “It’s all about me” and vain conceit means, “I’m always right.”
Selfish ambition causes all kinds of problems. James 3:16 says, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” When you find confusion at your workplace, your church, your home, in your marriage, and even in the government, you can know that selfish ambition and jealousy are causing it.
Vain conceit is the attitude that you are always right. The Living Bible translation of Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t live to make a good impression on others.” We do this in every area of our lives, but especially on social media. It’s a great temptation to make yourself look better on the Internet than you are
In Galatians, Paul lists about 17 effects of living with pride. He says when we live a self-centered life, it shows up in all kinds of ways. He starts off by saying things like self-indulgence shows up in sexual immorality and wild partying and getting drunk. You would expect those things.
But most of the things on the list are actually relational sins. Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear … quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy…. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (NLT).
If you want to be happy in your relationships, you’ve got to have harmony. And if you’re going to have harmony, you’ve got to have humility. Never let pride be your guide.
Talk It Over
- How would you describe the basis of your relationships? Are you in the relationship to serve yourself or others?
- What are practical ways you can maintain humility in a relationship?
By Rick Warren