Philippians 2:3 tells believers to consider others as more important or more significant than oneself. As if the command was not enough, the perfect example of such behavior exemplified in Christ makes Paul’s imperative all the more weighty while transforming a potential burden into a privilege as it is always a privilege to emulate the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are a million ways this verse can be applied with the key being actions flowing out of the right heart attitude rather than vice versa. I’ve heard of people applying this verse by giving up their master bedroom for house guests, for example. I often use the negative example of saving the steak in the fridge while giving visitors the “cheap stuff.” One of the challenging yet wonderful aspects of this verse is that we are not given specifics and allowed to use our own imaginations and Spirit-led convictions to apply this passage.
Although not often, people sometimes remark at how quickly I respond to emails. Aside from a potential media addiction and a desire to stay on top of things, I am driven to respond to emails as a way to live out Philippians 2:3. I believe that in our day and age, email has become one of the primary means of communication, and since I don’t like waiting for people to respond to my emails, who am I to make others wait? Since you are more important than me, your time (the most precious commodity we have) is definitely more important than mine. It’s also why I will usually respond to emails with an “Okay,” “Thanks,” or “Got it” just to remove any doubt as to whether or not I have read and received your email. Admittedly, this last one stems in part from my time in a country with unreliable internet, so when people didn’t respond to my emails I was left wondering if it ever went through (it usually had). After all, if your email has replaced a personal conversation, wouldn’t you find it odd if we were talking and I just stared at you silently rather than acknowledging your comments? In my mind, it’s just basic courtesy.
It’s no sin to take your time on emails, I just have the conviction that checking and responding to emails is one way that I can model the actions of Christ and consider others more important than myself.