Summary: We Christians are on the same side. We serve the same God. We fight the same enemy. Yet, we can’t always get along because of what Charles Swindoll calls the "Me Mentality".
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL
(Gleaned from writings by Charles Swindoll)
A. Philippians 2:1-11 (READ)
B. One lesson that should be SCREAMING out at us from Paul’s description of the church as being the “BODY OF CHRIST,” is that WE are to be UNITED--WE are in this TOGETHER!
1. Not too many years ago, there was a great sense of COMMUNITY in our SOCIETY.
People once were “CONNECTED” to each other. Families were EXTENDED, neighbors were PERMANENT, friendships LIFELONG. That sense of PERMANENCE had a major impact on the way people of the PAST viewed REALITY, their COMMITMENTS to people, and even themselves.
2. Today there is more of a “ALL THAT MATTERS IS ME” mind-set.
We have lost the sense of TOGETHERNESS! What’s IMPORTANT is what the INDIVIDUAL wants. “What makes ME happy, is the only thing that matters.” “It’s MY WAY or NO WAY.”
When I was in DIRECT SALES, I heard over and over that “SALES is a CUT-THROAT BUSINESS.” It didn’t matter who you had to STOMP ON to get to the TOP, all that mattered is that you GOT THERE.
Our GOVERNMENT is full of PROFESSIONAL LOBBYISTS who are hired by SPECIAL-INTEREST GROUPS who want things DONE their WAY! What they have LEARNED is if you can be VOCAL ENOUGH and COMPLAIN ENOUGH to the RIGHT PERSON(S), then you will usually get your WAY!
C. What happens in the WORLD is one thing, but when this same INDIVIDUALISTIC MENTALITY is prevalent in the “BODY OF CHRIST,” there can be nothing more devastating to the church of Jesus Christ.
1. External PRESSURE and OPPOSITION can certainly place a STRAIN on the church but she usually SURVIVES and comes out STRONGER, but when there are INTERNAL PROBLEMS the church becomes greatly WEAKENED and often is DESTROYED.
a. Jesus- “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand”- Matthew 12:25.
b. Paul- “If you keep on BITING and DEVOURING each other, watch out or you will be DESTROYED by each other”- Galatians 5:15.
When Christians set out only to PLEASE themselves and get their WAY, inner TURMOIL often ensues.
2. In our text, Paul is wanting Christians to realize that “WE are FAMILY! WE are in this TOGETHER!”
We are to take the BATTLE CRY of the THREE MUSKETEERS and make it our MOTTO: “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!” Sadly, some have taken this CRY for UNITY and have turned it into: “ALL FOR ME AND NONE FOR YOU!”
3. Let’s begin by taking a look at some BIBLICAL EXAMPLES of the “ME MENTALITY,” and then see what Paul says about how Christians must RELATE to one another.
I. NEW TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF THE “ME MENTALITY” (coined by Charles Swindoll)
A. The PHARISEES
1. Here were men, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, who thought that no one was better than their ELITE GROUP.
a. They sought ADMIRATION and AWE from the people- Matthew 6:1-2, 5, 16; 23:5-7(READ and COMMENT)
b. They viewed themselves as being more RIGHTEOUS than others - Luke 18:9-14(RECITE and COMMENT)
2. When it came to COMMANDMENT KEEPING and PRACTICING RIGHTEOUS DEEDS,no one did it BETTER than the PHARISEES.
a. Paul- “Pharisaism was the strictest sect of the Jewish religion”- Acts 26:5
b. But there is a vast difference from being RELIGIOUS and CHRIST-LIKE.
Often those who consider themselves RELIGIOUS because of their STRICT COMMANDMENT KEEPING are so UNCHRIST-LIKE in their dealings with people. Since they have been able to KEEP God’s COMMANDMENTS better than others, they often see themselves as being more GODLY than others.
They are quick to JUDGE those whom they feel do not meet up to their STANDARD of RIGHTEOUSNESS. They feel that others should sing their PRAISES and they should have greater PRIVILEGES. When they speak, they want people to LISTEN and CATER to their every COMPLAINT.
c. Of course, we know the SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDE was condemned by Jesus more than any other SIN.
B. The APOSTLES
1. We might expect the PHARISEES of having an ELITIST ATTITUDE PROBLEM, but not the APOSTLES.
a. The mother of James and John came to Jesus seeking PROMINENT POSITIONS for her two boys- Matthew 10:20-23 (READ and COMMENT)
If you ever want something from another and you are AFRAID to ask for it yourself, always send your MOTHER. There’s something about MOTHERS calling you up on the phone or coming to VISIT you about their child, that sends CHILLS up and down a person’s SPINE.
I’m sure that SCHOOL TEACHERS and especially PRINCIPALS, dread seeing a MOTHER coming down the HALL toward their room or office. No doubt they would rather wrestle HULK HOGAN than having to tangle with an IRATE mother.
b. Even Jesus doesn’t give this mother a direct answer, he just says: “You have to talk to God about that.” (Always go to the next person up. I send them to the DEACONS and they send them to the ELDERS. And the ELDERS send them to their WIVES.)