Do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
The verse is familiar. The concept is, too. But the actual application is often as foreign as it could possibly be. When the rubber meets the road, we are too often just plain selfish.
It seems that the way to be happy is to please ourselves. To pursue the fulfillment of what makes us happy. To have what we want. To do as we prefer.
But the truth is, that path leads to misery, not joy. Pleasing ourselves is like an insatiable monster who keeps demanding to be fed...the more you feed it, the more it demands. And the gladness that seemed to be promised never comes.
What's the solution?
The verse does not tell us to completely abandon our own interests. We are still to feed ourselves, get enough rest, replenish our minds and spirits and hearts, We can still enjoy the good gifts from our Father.
Just not to the exclusion of the interests of others!
The Greek word that we translate "look out for" literally means " to aim for, to seek as a goal". When I think about it that way, it seems to me that what Scripture is urging us towards here is a mindset. Do we set as a priority the meeting of our own needs above those of others? Or are we willing to trust God to supply what we need (including time for replenishment!) and make it our aim to see that the needs of others are prioritized?That, dear friends, is a key to JOY. The happiest - most JOYFUL - people are the ones who give and serve.