Sunday, July 31, 2022

Who’s Number One?

By Joe Slater


    “I have to look out for Number One!” That’s another way of saying I must concern myself first and foremost with my own interests. After all, if I don’t, nobody else will – right?

    Far too many Christians have yielded to that worldly philosophy. Paul lamented, “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ” (Philippians 2:21).

    What does it mean to seek the things of Christ? The prior two verses tell of Timothy’s genuine care for the welfare of the brethren at Philippi, in sharp contrast to the self-seeking attitude of virtually everyone else. To act in the best interests of Christ’s people is to seek the things of Christ.

    Earlier in his letter Paul had exhorted the Philippians, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (2:4). That’s the very thing Jesus did, as shown in 2:5-8. Leaving heaven in order to give Himself to die on the cross as the supreme atonement offering required extreme humility and the endurance of unspeakable pain. Jesus did it because it was in our best interest.

    In Matthew 6:33 Jesus didn’t tell His disciples to “seek first your own interests” (i.e. look out for Number One). Instead, He said to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” How seriously do we take Him when making decisions? Do we think first of what benefits the cause of Christ? Do we consider what impact (for good or for ill) our decision has on other people?

    The title of this article asks, “Who’s Number One?” As the statement “I have to look out for Number One” is commonly used, Number One is you. Let’s switch that around and make Jesus “Number One.” Let’s seek the things which are of Christ!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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