A scriptural precedent was set by Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi. This precedent is one set by the example of Jesus and followed by Paul.
The precedent is also one that determines what is best for others: putting others above self.
The beauty of what unfolds in this letter provides powerful application for each of us today.
Leading others in the cause of Christ requires us to consider the way Paul approaches the church in Philippi. In order for the church to have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), they needed to follow the example of Christ and the one Paul practiced in the following ways:
1) We need to put the gospel of our Lord above ourselves.
2) We need to put our brothers and sisters above ourselves.
3) We need to put Christ above ourselves, as He did us.
These three areas were also practiced by Timothy and Epaphroditus. How powerful would the influence of the church be today, if each one of us possessed this attitude and practiced this mindset with each other?
Perhaps this is what Jesus meant in John 13:34-35.