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Esteeming Others Better Than Ourselves

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4/22/2016 11:06:28 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
In the Book of Philippians, it's written, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." This verse seems, at least, for me, counterintuitive. Why would anyone who had a modicum of self-respect esteem others better than oneself? Plainly, if we felt we were deserving of less, how would that benefit us in any way?

To consider this, we must consider our intentions. In other words, is it our intention to devolve into something worse, remain the same, or to evolve into something better?

Of course, I know of no one who would say he, or she, would like to be worse off; so, it's either we wish to remain the same or evolve into something better. In remaining the same, there is no growth; growth requires change. So, even though we may wish, at times, for things to remain the same, I believe we also wish to evolve. We wish to evolve into something which we are not, something which is better than our selves.

Like a flowering plant bending towards that which it desires, namely, the sun, or a driver veering in the direction of one's focus, we too become that on which we direct our attention. If we focus on the evil in others, debasing others for the sake of heaping praise on ourselves, the world becomes a place of regression, a place which instills in us a sense of low expectations. Being the world is base, the slightest improvement in ourselves is better than that which we measure ourselves against, namely, the world. Our sense of confidence is based on a perverse measure. However, if we esteem the world more highly than ourselves, instead of regression, our aim is progression. We can only move forward by reaching for that which is beyond us. The individual who sets oneself as the highest standard has no room for improvement; the individual who becomes the least among us has the heights of heaven to climb.