4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
What does it mean to love your neighbors? The answer put from a negative perspective is found for us in the Ten Commandments – do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, and do not lie, which you would do well to follow, but is it enough to not act in a certain way towards our neighbors to meet the standard of loving them? It would seem from a biblical perspective that loving our neghbors needs to be more than that because we find verses like this one in Philippians 2 that says we should also look our for their interests also. This is the positive side of love, which is active in nature. To not murder, steal, covet and lie is somewhat passive, but to look after someones interests is more active, it requires me to know what the interests of others are, it requires me to be involved in peoples lives, to be in relationship with them, it requires me to interact on a more personal level. So then to love my neighbors as both a passive and an active side that is displayed for us in the humility of Christ as this chapter in Philippians will go on to explain. Christ has shown us mercy by not judging us for the sins we committed against him and because he didn’t take action against our sin his mercy was passive towards us, but he did not remain passive, he took action, not to judge, but to save. Paul goes on to explain how Jesus actively put aside his glory became a man and died on the cross all as an act to save us. This is what active love does. So look to your neighbors and don’t just love them passively, but love them actively because Christ has done the same for you and we love from gratitude for the love he showed to us.