Christ Jesus could have chosen a different kind of life, a different kind of death, but he didn't. He chose to live as one as a Jew in a Roman-occupied land. He accepted a cruel and what would have been considered a shameful death at their hands.
Paul is not preaching any prosperity gospel. Quite the contrary. He himself had given up privileges due him and had accepted a life of threat and pain and imprisonment.
"Don't be ruled by ambition. Look to the interests of each other."
Paul hadn't done it alone, nor is he expecting the Philippians to "God is at work within you. God will give you the ability both to want to do what is right and also to do it."
(With help from Neil Elliott, Liberating Paul)
From a previous year: Consolation from love, Reflection on Philippians 2:1-13
Paul encouraged Christians to live in community and to care for one another. How might such a community look now?
Generations of Hope is a nonprofit adoption agency that has designed a community to resemble a nurturing small town, complete with surrogate grandparents. Created out of a shuttered Air Force base, Generations of Hope seeks to rescue children from foster care and place them with adoptive parents who have moved here. About 30 children currently live with parents in 10 homes. The community is also home to 42 older people who have subsidized rent.
Read more about this amazing experiment in the New York Times, September 16, 2008: For Distant Generations in Illinois, Unrelated but Oh So Close