Read Philippians 2:3-4
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (NIV)
In Greek mythology, a man called Narcissus fell in love with his reflection he saw in a pool of water. The silly man slowly died as he couldn’t pull himself away from what he saw. And so ever since, those who seem absorbed in themselves can be termed ‘Narcissists’.
Many very pleasant people are like that. They insist you look at each and every holiday photo, figuring that you must surely be interested in all of them. They talk freely about themselves assuming their concerns and their activities must be of great importance to others. They believe that each cause they embrace has to be embraced by others. Their opinions matter most.
They can’t form healthy or empathetic relationships because they are consumed with themselves. One test we can apply to our relationships is how well others listen to us. One test we can apply to ourselves is how well we listen to others. Sadly, too many so-called friendships are just occasions for each person to unload on the other without much thought of the other.
Our text reminds us that we are not just to consider ourselves. Indeed we put others first. The ideal friendship occurs when the two parties each practise this. No one dominates. Each speaks and listens. The other person is seen not as someone to talk at but someone to converse with.