Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Conflict of Interest
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
I have never been one to invite or initiate conflict. People who squabble, pick fights, and carry on arguments, vociferously and angrily, will never float my boat. Unfortunately, not liking conflict does not guarantee avoiding it; numerous times, I've found myself an unwilling target of unmerited attacks where the perpetrators bullied and belittled, hoping I would verbally battle back. I didn't. I remained silent while the tirade washed over me. While this may appear to be a stance of weakness, it is amazing to see how quickly the onslaught loses its steam, dying off with a cough and a splutter, when it fails to rouse retaliation.
In today's scripture, Paul is concerned about petty jealousies and points of dissension in the church at Philippi. He knows the vagaries of the human heart all too well. His admonitions on how they should behave as Christians is as viable for us now as it was for them then. If we humble ourselves, remembering that Jesus, in all humility, took on flesh and blood for our salvation, and value and place the interest of others above our own, I wonder what this world would look like? Mohandas Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
What can you do and say today to prove Mr. Gandhi wrong?
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