Summary: Bernstein once was asked which instrument was the most difficult to play. He said, "The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm--that's a problem."
Up To Here With Self Philippians 2:3-4NASB
One of the first conductors born and educated in the United States to receive worldwide acclaim was Leonard Bernstein. He directed the New York Philharmonic, conducted concerts by some of the world's leading orchestras, wrote symphonies, and music for Broadway hits such as West Side Story Etc. His obituary in The New York Times (October 15, 1990) called him "one of the most... talented and successful musicians in American history."
Bernstein once was asked which instrument was the most difficult to play. He said, "The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm--that's a problem."
Yourself, Yourself, Yourself. We’re up to here with self! Do something either for yourself or with yourself or to yourself.
How very different from Jesus’ model and message! Instead of a philosophy to turn our eyes inward. He offers a fresh and much needed invitation to our me-first generation. There is a better way, Jesus says, “Be a servant. Give to others!”
Philippians 2:3-4NASB Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Know what nothing means? Do nothing means just that. Stop permitting two strong tendencies- selfishness and conceit- to control you!
Replace these words with humility of mind.
But how? Again, verse 3, By regarding others as more important than yourself.
Listen to the Message Bible from Philippians 2:3-4TM Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
A youth minister was attending a Special Olympics where handicapped children competed with tremendous dedication and enthusiasm. One event was the 220 yard dash. Contestants lined up at the starting line, and at the signal, started running as fast as they could.
One boy by the name of Andrew quickly took the lead, & was soon about 50 yards ahead of everybody else. As he approached the final turn he looked back and saw that his best friend had fallen and hurt himself on the track.
Andrew stopped and looked at the finish line. Then he looked back at his friend. People were hollering, "Run, Andrew, run!" But he didn't. He went back and got his friend, helped him up, brushed off the cinders. And hand in hand, they crossed the finish line dead last.
However, as they finished, the people cheered!
Remember, there are some things more important than finishing first.
Listen to Paul’s words in Galatians 5:13NASB For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
It’s time we cultivate genuine interest in others. It’s time to
look for ways to support, encourage, build up, and stimulate other people. It will require an attitude that would rather give than receive.
Humility of mind is really an attitude, isn’t it? It’s an attitude of mind that thinks ahead, thoughts like this: “I care about those around me.”
Thoughts like: “Why do I always have to be first?” “I’m going to help someone else win for a change.”
The Bible teaches us, and psychologists are learning that the quickest way to get rid of our troubles is to become involved in helping someone else.
The prophet Isaiah knew that a long time ago. Listen to
Isaiah 58:10-12NIV and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Q&A: Do you ever ask yourself on Sunday morning, "Why am I going to church? Am I going because I feel I owe a debt to God, so I'm trying to pay it back? Or because I'm carrying a heavy burden that I hope will be lifted? Or because I like the music and the fellowship and even the preaching? Why am I going?"
Why should we go? Well, if we're genuinely interested in others, the church becomes a training ground where we learn how to help one another.
Say this, It’s time! It’s time we cultivate genuine concern about others, as you do, you’ll find that when you're in trouble, others will be good friends to you.