Philippians 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 2:3, NIV: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,"

Philippians 2:3, ESV: "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."

Philippians 2:3, KJV: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

Philippians 2:3, NASB: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;"

Philippians 2:3, NLT: "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves."

Philippians 2:3, CSB: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves."

What does Philippians 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Following his focus on unity in the previous verse, Paul commands his readers to avoid acting in greediness or dishonesty. His goal was to remove focus from self to others. In this, Paul takes a slightly different approach than Christ's statement to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:36–40). Instead, he first addresses the motives of wrongful ambition and pride. When these drive our decisions, love and unity are not our true goals.

Instead, Paul taught that Christians ought to treat the needs of others as more important than our own, and other people as greater than us. By putting the needs of others first, believers pursue the kind of humility that leads to mutual love and unity. The emphasis was not on self, but on others. When this is achieved, the overall goal for humility is also met. Paul will continue this area of teaching by connecting it with the example of Jesus in the following verses (Philippians 2:6–11). Those who put others first exhibit Christ-like character through love and humility.