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As a teenager, the board game that I played the most was Monopoly. I can recall several Monopoly marathons that went late into the night until someone finally won. My favorite Community Card was “Advance Directly to Go and Collect $200.” If I was losing and about to go broke, I didn’t mind picking up the Chance Card “Go Directly to Jail.” Like this classic game, life is about advancing and falling back.

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others, Philippians 2:3-4.

Advance refers to moving forward in a purposeful way. Unfortunately, I have days, weeks, and months where I forget to set a clear goal. Instead of moving forward, I tend to wander along aimlessly. This is what one Old Testament prophet calls the reason for destruction, Hosea 4:6. If you are not advancing, you will likely become idle before slipping away spiritually from God.

For the others all seek [to advance] their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Philippians 2:21.

In a letter to the Church at Philippi, the apostle Paul provides a plan for advancing. If you neglect your own needs, you probably won’t be any good to other believers. Therefore, first you need to get your own life in order, Matthew 7:5, by removing that which is keeping you from growing. Once this is accomplished, then you can advance and proceed with carrying out God’s will for your life, Romans 12:2.

by Jay Mankus

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