Esteem Other Better

Philippians 2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.


But in lowliness of mind. Have always an humbling view of yourselves, and this will lead you to prefer others to yourselves; for, as you know your own secret defects, charity will lead you to suppose that your brethren are more holy, and more devoted to God than you are; and they will think the same of you, their secret defects also being known only to themselves.


Let each esteem other better than themselves. This is one of the effects produced by true humility, and it naturally exists in every truly modest mind. The reasons are these: (1.) We are sensible of our own defects, but we have not the same clear view of the defects of others. We see our own hearts; we are conscious of the great corruption there; we have painful evidence of the impurity of the motives which often actuate us--the evil thoughts and corrupt desires in our own souls; but we have not the same view of the errors, defects, and follies of others. We can see only their outward conduct; but, in our own case, we can look within. It is natural for those who have any just sense of the depravity of their own souls, charitably to hope that it is not so with others, and to believe that they have purer hearts. This will lead us to feel that they are worthy of more respect than we are. Hence this is always the characteristic of modesty and humility--graces which the gospel is fitted eminently to produce. A truly pious man will be always, therefore, an humble man, and will wish that others should be preferred in office and honour to himself. Of course, this will not make him blind to the defects of others when they are manifested; but he will be himself retiring, modest, unambitious, unobtrusive. This rule of Christianity would strike a blow at all the ambition of the world. It would rebuke the love of office, and would produce universal contentment in any low condition of life where the providence of God may have cast our lot.


Instead of fixing your eyes on those points in which you excel, fix them on those in which your neighbor excels you: this is true *humility.*

Teacher*s Commentary:

The attitude of supremacy is fatal to growth.


And in this view especially guard against pride, and [let] nothing [be done] or said out of a spirit of contradiction and contention, or from vain glory, to draw the eyes of others upon you, and make yourselves the subjects of discourse and admiration; but in unaffected simplicity and lowliness of mind, esteeming others as more excellent than yourselves: which, on one account or another, you may know almost every one to be.

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