Esteeming Others Better Than Our Self
By David J. Stewart | November 2015 | Updated February 2017
Philippians 2:1-4, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
This is an amazing passage of Scripture, which is seldom obeyed by Christians. If we truly grasped this Bible truth, we would never gossip about a fellow believer again. This Scripture doesn't mean that I should esteem you a better human being than me; but rather, I am commanded by God love you as mine own self. Galatians 5:14, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 2nd Timothy 3:1-2 foretells that in the Last Days, wicked people will become LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES. This is the exact opposite of what God commanded. You cannot live for SELF and OTHERS at the same time. You cannot love GOD and MAMMON (money). God wants us to get out of the SELF LIFE. I am to be concerned about your needs as well as mine. I am not to be selfish and hurt you to benefit myself, nor ignore something that will cause you a loss or burden if it is in my power to stop it.
The Bible is not telling us to be depressed, or to view others as being worthy of God's love, but not our self (i.e., to have an inferiority complex). I know that I am inferior, but I don't have an inferiority complex. I believe God explains what He means in verse four of Philippians chapter two, where He teaches us to LOOK ON THE THINGS OF OTHERS. This does not speak of materialism or covetousness; but rather, being a good neighbour, ethical, caring, and a good steward of other people's belongings. Next to loving God with all our heart, loving our fellow mankind is the greatest thing God wants us to do. It is a sin to elevate our self above OTHERS. We are not better than anyone. Moreover, God tells us to esteem OTHERS better than we are. This means I should have a servant's heart, wanting to help OTHERS anyway that I can in a spirit of Christian love. We ought to view people as being BROKEN and not BAD. Instead of selfishly thinking like Janet Jackson, who sings the lyrics “What Have You Done For Me Lately?,” Christians who love God ought to say “What Have I Done For Others Lately?”
Most people go into a marriage with expectations of what they want, when we ought to go into a marriage with a desire to make our spouse happy and content. The Bible foretells in 2nd Timothy 3:1 that in the last days, “PERILOUS TIMES SHALL COME.” Then the Bible tells us WHY these times will be perilous... “FOR MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES”! People are very selfish these days, just as the Scriptures foretold. Selfishness is normal for a heathen, but the Christian life was never meant by God to be “normal.” The Christian life is a “supernatural” life, as we walk in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Our goal ought to be to be Christlike, continually seeking ways to live for OTHERS. When we fail to esteem OTHERS as being better than we are, we become puffed-up in sinful pride, selfish, seeking our own benefit and happiness, while neglecting those in need around us. We are living in a world of broken people who feel unloved. You'd be surprised how much it can encourage someone by simply buying them a soda, or praying for them when they share a burden with you, or buying them a hamburger. It is true that people don't care what you know, until they know that you care. Do you care?
God is saying that when given the option of choosing between SELF and OTHERS, I should select OTHERS. It doesn't mean that you're better than me in God's sight. That's not what the Bible says. It says that I ought to consider OTHERS above myself. Your needs before my needs. This doesn't mean that you ought to pay your neighbours bills, or lend them money that you likely won't see again. I am supposed to do unto OTHERS, what I would want them to do unto me (Matthew 7:12). I would not want anyone to pay my bills, because they are MY BILLS. I am an honest man and want to pay my own way. God is teaching us to do what we can, to express God's unconditional love toward all men, to help OTHERS, and exemplify the Savior in our daily walk. As Christians, we represent the Savior. When we falter, it brings reproach upon the name of Christ, and gives occasion for the enemies of the Lord to profane Him (Satan being the biggest profaner - Revelation 12:10).
Carefully notice the word “ALSO.” We are commanded to care for the things of OTHERS, as if it were our own, because we do take care of our own things, don't we. I am amazed how a person will keep their lawn nice and trim, which their next-door neighbour is having a hard time, and their lawn is overgrown two-feet high. That selfish neighbour won't touch that high grass with a 10-foot pole.
Several years ago I lived next-door to some neighbours. I never met them, don't know what they looked like, and never had any communication with them. No one lived at the residence, but every couple months someone came to cut their grass. But then something happened and the grass grew, and grew, and grew. It was nearly three feet high with bramble-weeds and such. My landlord at the time cut my grass, so I didn't have to cut the grass ever. I went down to Home Depot and bought a BLACK & DECKER weed-whacker with 2-recharchable-batteries for the unit. I also bought some safety-glasses (always wear safety glasses). It cost me about $150 if I remember correctly. I cut my neighbour's grass. It took me several days, because the batteries only lasted several minutes each. I was looking on the things of OTHERS. No one ever said, “Thank You,” nor I didn't expect it. That was fine with me. That's not why I did a good deed for someone else. I did it for Jesus, my precious Lord and Savior. My reward is in Heaven.
I love what Dr. Jack Hyles once said in a sermon. Brother Hyles said, “If there's one thing I'd like to teach my people besides salvation, it is to GET OUT OF THE SELF LIFE!” Notice again in 2nd Timothy 3:1-2, which foretells of the “perilous” (hard to endure) times ahead, the dire conditions of the Last Days, that the first character trait mentioned about people is that they will become “LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES”!!! This is in direct opposition to the Lord's command for all believers to “LOOK... ALSO ON THE THINGS OF OTHERS” in Philippians 2:5b. My friend, you either care or you don't. You're either honest or you're not. You're either ethical or unethical. You're either upfront or you're shady. You either uphold ONLY the King James Bible, or you're part of the dirty Bible-corrupting movement in America. You're either a contender-for-the-faith or you're a worldly compromiser. You either stay-by-the-stuff or you're a quitter. You're either on the Lord's side, or you're pulling on the same rope as the Devil. Which are you?
Do You Sinfully Think You're Better Than Others?
Many Christians today think they're actually BETTER THAN OTHERS. Anytime that you focus on the past sins of another person, you are esteeming yourself as being BETTER than them. Matthew 7:1-5 reminds us that we have a BEAM in our own eye; thus, we ought not hypocritically be concerned about the TOOTHPICK in our brother's or sister's eye. Matthew 7:3-5, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Truthfully, we ALL have a great big BEAM shoved in our eye!!!
We are all dirty, guilty, sinners in God's holy eyes (Romans 3:10-23). Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Remember that the next time you hear something bad about a Bible-preacher, because the Bible says ALL PREACHERS ARE SINFUL MEN! We have a form of insanity today in the United States, where a man who raises a King James Bible and preaches, “Thus saith the Lord,” is suddenly expected to be 100% perfect, above sin and maintain a squeakily-clean reputation (which is absolutely impossible). No preacher can forever live above reproach, unless he hides himself in a closet and stays away from everyone. Even the preachers who hypocritically think they've arrived, and claim to be above any reproach, are guilty of the woeful sins of arrogance, hating sinners, selfish pride and in many cases, doctrinal heresy.
We've got this sick idea today that a man must disappear off the face of the earth and stop preaching God's Word if he stumbles and goes into sin in a weak moment. Everyone is weak at times and sins, even the great Apostle Paul (Romans 7:14-25). And carefully notice from Romans 7:14-25 that Paul wasn't just speaking about sins he had committed BEFORE he was saved, but presently, struggling to live right moment-by-moment. I don't care who you are, YOU WILL SIN. The insane notion that a preacher who sins is finished is as unscriptural as it is unfair and retarded. Brother, you get back up, repent toward God of those sins, and KEEP ON PREACHING THE WORD OF GO!!! Your enemies will never cut you any slack. Let the heathen rage, you just keep serving God, and be a better man because of your mistakes!!! I speak to thousands of Christians who have fallen, and are constantly kicked in the teeth by self-righteousness, wicked, scornful, hateful, hypocrites, WHO HAVE A LUMBER BEAM IN THEIR EYE.
The very context of this Scripture passage teaches us that the person who CONDEMNS OTHERS has the BEAM in their eye, and the person who is being accused has the TOOTHPICK. Perhaps you've made some serious mistakes, committed some horrible sins, even crimes in your life. May I quote to you Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” The Lord loves to forgive our transgressions and put them behind us, gone from our record. Psalms 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
What right do you or I have to condemn anyone for their past sins and mistakes? I've never believed that adultery is grounds for divorce, because it ignores the Lord's teaching in Matthew 18:22 to forgive 70 times 7 times a day (i.e., unlimited pardons). And I find no passage of Scripture that says a man cannot preach anymore because he sins in a weak moment. A man can forfeit his right to a position of church leadership, but this does not mean that he cannot become an evangelist, missionary or Sunday School teacher. Many former prostitutes, criminals and whoremongers are teaching in Sunday Schools across America. And you wicked accusers out there, the only difference between those reformed sinners and you is that they're doing something for God in spite of their past sins, and you're doing nothing except point fingers at them and condemn them (heaping coals of fire upon your own head for Judgment Day - Romans 12:19-21).
What a good God!!! The Bible says that every Christian ought to say that THE LORD IS GOOD and HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOREVER! Psalms 107:1-2, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” God is a very good God, to all of us!
Sowing Discord Amongst Brethren
One of the most sinister and wicked places on the internet is the “Fighting Fundamentalist Forums.” They're a bunch of self-righteous hate-mongers, and all they do is gossip, and trash out other Christians who have sinned. I never go there intentionally, but search engines sometimes take me there, and I get angry when I read their critic of good Christians, who have sinned, and they talk trash about them, like they are monsters. No, the monsters are the members of their stupid forum, who arrogantly love to slander and tear down preachers, and the wives and families of preachers, who have sinned. I have news for you friend, You are a filthy sinner too! And on Judgment Day, the people who have slander and condemned other sinners, will be sorry they ever did (Matthew 7:1-2).
James 4:12, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” There's a lot of evil hatred, slander and gossip circulating around the internet, sadly by professed “Christians” who are policing others Christians, demanding that they explain past mistakes, sins and allegations against them. Truthfully, it's none of anyone's business except God alone in Heaven. You don't owe it to anyone to explain your past, good or bad, unless you're applying for the church position of a pastor or deacon. 1st Timothy 3:6-7, “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” Satan loves to condemn preachers, in an attempt to discredit their preaching! Ah, but God is our ONLY Lawgiver and Judge, as we just read in James 4:12.
One of my heroes in the Christian faith is Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001). Evangelist Robert L. Sumner hates Dr. Hyles, relentlessly attacking him on the internet and in his ministry's publication. When Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) went to Heaven in 1980, the position for editor of the Sword Of The Lord became available. Various men applied for the position, including Robert L. Sumner of “THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST” ministry. Pastor Jack Hyles, who was on the Sword's Board of Directors, strongly recommended hiring Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) as the editor, and they did just that! Now you know why Mr. Sumner slanders and attacks Dr. Hyles, and his family, and his ministry, spewing constant slander on the internet as a bitter old man who was spurned decades ago. Dr. Hyles said that himself. It's really tragic and sad. I oftentimes heard Brother Hyles mention that he was praying for Mr. Sumner's poor eyesight, and that he loved him in the Lord. Psalms 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
I don't believe any of the accusations against Brother Hyles, because there is no proof to substantiate them. But I have news for you friend, Dr. Jack Hyles was just a sinful man, as are ALL PREACHERS. The crazy idea that if a preacher makes a mistake or commits a sin in a weak moment, demands that he drop off the face of the earth is just that, crazy! A preacher can forfeit his right to pastor, but never the divine obligation to preach. God calls sinful men, He doesn't call clergy! Dr. Hyles never forfeited his right to pastor, and as far as I know, never committed any of the sins that some critics accuse him of, which Brother Hyles has publicly denied (MP3 sermon).
The Devil knows that the best way to deceive people, so that they'll go straight to Hell forever, is to get rid of Gospel-preaching preachers!!! There is a war today in America against fundamental, Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, uncompromising, people-loving, soul-winning, bus-ministry-running, tell-it-like-it-is, preachers! Notice in 1st Timothy 3:6 that the Bible calls it “THE CONDEMNATION OF THE DEVIL.” When people criticize the Bible-preacher, they're acting just like the Devil. The Devil is “THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN” (Revelation 12:10). The Devil doesn't accuse Rock and Country music stars, who are idols to youth today. The Devil doesn't accuse Hollywood, because he is the boss of it.
The Devil doesn't accuse the liberals, who continually try to bring God down to man's level (claiming Christ was not God in the flesh). The Devil doesn't accuse the dirty booze business, because he owns it! The Devil doesn't accuse the filthy Playboy crowd, because he's a pervert too. The Devil doesn't accuse the Bible-corrupting gang, who for filthy lucre “have perverted the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23:36). The Devil doesn't accuse the unsaved man, because the Devil is his spiritual father. No, the Devil only accuses born-again Christians, that is, the Brethren!!!
You Are Better Than Me
I am just a humble sinner saved by God's grace. I am in no position to judge you for your sins, nor do I have any Biblical right to do so. I do not condemn anyone for their sins. Now as a Bible-preacher I do expose open public wickedness, the satanic music industry, the vile homosexual agenda (that is targeting our children with immorality), counterfeit Bible versions, apostate Bible colleges, reprobate false preachers, fake churches and all manner of fraud, deception and evil.
As an example: It's none of my business what singer Taylor Swift does in her own personal life. Her sins are not my business. However, because she is super-popular amongst teenagers today, particularly young girls, I must stand for God as a born-again Christian (not just as a preacher) against her public promotion of wickedness, exposing the Satanism behind her ungodly immoral music videos and sinful lyrics. Every Christian believer has a duty to take a stand against all works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). Soul-winning is not just the preacher's job, but for every believer (Proverbs 11:30). It is wise to win souls to Jesus. We preach the Gospel to lost sinners, to lead them to Jesus Christ, and then the Lord saves them by faith!!!
I don't think I'm better than Taylor Swift, God forbid. I am a nobody who knows a Somebody, and His precious name is Jesus! Because I esteem you better than me, I'm not going to condemn you. I'm not going to do anything to hurt you or defraud you. I don't deserve anything more than eternal damnation in Hell for my own sins; but God is a merciful God, Who has washed away all my sins with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). Since I humble myself, esteeming my neighbours as being better than me, I am going to look out for their needs, searching for ways to befriend them, help them and be a blessing to them.
I had a slowly leaking tire fixed yesterday on my vehicle. While I was waiting, I went to the corner gas station store and bought three Mountain Dew sodas for the men who worked at the tire shop. I had bottled water. I love water! When the mechanic was done working on my tire, I handed him a Gospel of John and $5. Now, if I hadn't been esteeming OTHERS better than myself, then I wouldn't have been thinking about them instead of myself. We are all very selfish by nature from birth. The Christian life is not haphazard, it doesn't just happen; but rather, you must live the Christian life on purpose. And to clarify, Jesus lives the Christian life THROUGH US, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The Christian life is lived BY FAITH. That was Dr. Lee Roberson's life's theme... LIVING BY FAITH!
Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
In A War For God (Pastor Danny Castle)
love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)
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