“Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned with the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (gwt)
“Hmmm…wait…what??? Is the Bible really telling me what I think this scripture is saying?” – we might be asking ourselves right about now. But before we jump for joy at the prospect of being all up in each other’s business let’s just take a step back and put our thinking caps on.
First of all, is the Bible really giving us permission to be official busy-bodies in His Kingdom? I mean, after all, this scripture is pretty clear, isn’t it?
Well, you might think so, but before we put chapstick on our lips in preparation for a blessed gossip-fest let me add some much needed clarification by adding the verses directly before, and after the verse we just read.
“Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:3-5 (gwt)
Wow. The two added verses give this scripture an entirely new meaning, doesn’t it? Standing alone, verse 4 seems to imply that we have permission to busy-body it up, but when you nestle it among the other verses we find the truth behind the scripture, the lesson God intended by including it in the Bible in the first place.
This is why it is extremely important to the Christian believer to be well versed in what the Bible actually says, to be willing to seek out the truth behind random scriptures that the world will throw out, because the world, and wordly people (yes, I do mean those dear friends and family members) will always seek to justify their sinful choices and lifestyles by throwing a misquoted scripture at us.
I guess what I’m saying is don’t just swallow a scripture without knowing where it came from. I think 2 Timothy 2:15 says it best…
“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” (amp)