Philippians 2:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 2:4, NIV: "not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

Philippians 2:4, ESV: "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Philippians 2:4, KJV: "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

Philippians 2:4, NASB: "do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."

Philippians 2:4, NLT: "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

Philippians 2:4, CSB: "Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

What does Philippians 2:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The command here is short and simple. Several important observations can be made. First, the command is to each believer. All Christians, regardless of maturity or authority, are supposed to treat others with humility and selflessness. Second, the focus is not exclusively toward others. Paul does not say, "Never look to your own interests." In other words, we are to put the needs of others before our own, but this does not mean we completely avoid caring for our own needs. It's hard to serve other people when your own life, health, or concerns are in ruins.

Third, we are each called to help more than just one person. This is not directed as a single "other," but at all "others." There's a common cultural wisdom for each person to "pay it forward" or "each one reach one." While these sayings have a ring of truth, they don't completely fulfill Paul's teaching in this verse. Believers are called to help "others," serving the needs of a group of people. In the case of the Philippians, this included the congregation that met in a house church. Then, spreading to serve those who did not yet know Christ. And, to helping both believers and unbelievers beyond their community as part of fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).