Summary: What’s your church’s biggest problem? Can you name it? Paul names it in Philippians 2:19-23

It was an eye opening experience.

I was in the 9th grade in high school and I was playing on the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team.

My best friend in my 9th grade class was a guy named Matt.

Matt had an older brother named Nathan who was in the 11th grade.

Before their seasons starts, every sports teams have a meeting where they receive their jersey for that year.

It came time for the coach to hand out the team jerseys.

And as is the case with every High School team, there is a pecking order to picking out jerseys.

The seniors, the 12th graders get first dibbs on the best sizes and the most popular numbers.

After the 12th graders, of course the 11th graders get to pick their desired jersey.

Then the 10th graders and then the lowly freshman 9th graders are left to pick over the leftovers.

Now if you’ve played sports on an organized team before you will know that every player has his favorite number.

Michael Jordon famously wore the #23 for most of his career.

The soccer legend Pele’ wore the number #10.

I wore #7.

#7 was my number as a soccer player.

At least I thought I was going to wear it until I watched with horror my best friends older brother pick the exact jersey I had been eyeing, #7 jersey.

He picked up that shirt, glanced over at me, and shot me a look as if to say, “Na, Na, Na, Na, Na.”

Well, I was not about to go down without a fight.

If looks could kill I would have been guilty of murder.

I looked at him, my eyes were red, my blood vessels were sticking out, I was like a bull and he was the bull fighter and he was dangling that jersey right in front of me and I was about to charge.

I looked at him and as angry as I could I called him a name that I will not repeat for you this morning.

Nathan rolled back his head and just laughed.

I pouted. I was fuming.

He let me go one for a minute or two and then he finally walked over to me, threw the jersey in my chest and said, “I wasn’t really going to take it. I just wanted to see what you would do.”


He and one of his friends had staged the entire ordeal just to see if they could get a reaction out of me.

Well, when he told me that the whole thing was a practical joke, I went from angry to embarrassed in 6 seconds.

I was so humiliated that I had acted so badly.

I felt stupid that they had outsmarted me and had been able to pull one over on me.

But I also was deeply embarrassed at the way I’d behaved.

I had displayed a terrible attitude.

I had called my friend a name and really not been too nice.

And that’s when a light went on in my head.

I suddenly realized how incredibly selfish I can be at times.

I had wanted that jersey so badly that I was willing to break a friendship over it.

I guess I just had never had that feeling wash over me like it did that day, the feeling of , “Wow. How could I have behaved so badly? Am I that selfish?”

Have you ever that experience?

An experience where you suddenly see yourself for who you are and it scares you?

I want to talk to you today about this thing called SELFISHNESS.


And I want to read to you Philippians 2:19 –23 and I want you to see if you can pick up on what this Big problem is from these 5 verses.


Were you able to pick up on what the problem is?

Let me give you a hint.

It’s found in verse 21.

Verse 21 says:

“For all seek their own, not the things of Christ Jesus.”

The BIGGEST PROBLEM MOST PEOPLE HAVE is that “all seek their own, not the things of Christ Jesus.”

Paul was writing to the Philippian Christians.

He was informing them that he wanted to send Timothy to them as soon as he could find an appropriate time to do so.

And in the middle of this letter he stops and stuns us with this statement:

“All seek their own, not the things of Christ Jesus.”

Well you say, “Who was Paul referring to? Was Paul talking about unbelievers? We would certainly expect this kind of attitude from someone who doesn’t belong to Jesus Christ.”

But what is astounding about Paul’s statement is that he was not talking about unbelievers, but about believers.

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