The Interests of Others

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:2). One of the walls of Christianity that has existed for centuries is the attitude of many “full time” Christian workers and business people. Often pastors, missionaries and other “full timers” (I put this in quotes since all of us should consider ourselves full time) see business people as a dollar sign. They see them as the instrument to fund their next project or provide the support they need. This wrong view towards business people encourages them to harden their hearts toward legitimate projects. It creates a vicious cycle in which Satan robs both servants of God of the blessing of each other’s gifts and talents. I once attended an international conference in which business people acknowledged having this attitude toward Christian workers. Christian workers asked for forgiveness of viewing those in business as objects for funding. There was a time of repentance and tears for the selfish attitude and callousness of both groups. Christian business people have more to offer the Kingdom than their dollars, but this is often overlooked. Paul admonishes us to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” If the God of the universe came as a humble servant, we in business must maintain our humble servant attitude toward those who have lesser means and are seeking to serve the Lord. God has entrusted many of us in business with greater resources. The test is to examine whether we are operating in vanity or Christ-like servant hood, looking at the interests of others. Ask the Lord to provide the grace to consider each request that comes to you for assistance and to avoid becoming callous to these requests. This is one test from God that He brings to determine whether you will serve others before yourself. The true test of giving is when it has no benefit to yourself.