Philippians 2:4-8
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (v.4).


You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).


In what way might you be holding too tightly to a relationship? How does Jesus’ example help you to hold on loosely?

Recently, I stopped at a fast-food restaurant for a quick bite to eat. I placed my order at the drive- thru, picked up my beverage and chicken sandwich (minus the sauce), and was all set for an uneventful meal—or so I thought. A minute later, as I went to take a sip of my soft drink, the plastic lid on my paper cup popped off. Instinctively, I squeezed the cup to minimize the mess, but it only made things worse.

Along with again being certain I was born to spill things, the incident reminded me how much can go wrong in a relationship when we hold on too tight. If we turn into the clingy smothering type where it becomes all about us, we’ll end up squeezing the life out of those we claim to love.

The New Testament speaks about a more balanced approach to relationships: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:4). We’re talking mutual consideration. Without it, relationships often become one-sided and oppressive.

If we feel as if the lid is coming off a friendship, dating relationship, or marriage, putting the squeeze on others is anything but mutually thoughtful. Conversely, the lyrics of a 1980s song encourages listeners to “hold on loosely,” but not “let go,” Not bad advice. In our close relationships, we need to always give the other person “someone to believe in” and lots of room “to breathe in.”

Even Jesus exhibited the importance of holding things loosely in relationships. The Bible says, “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to” (Philippians 2:6).

Everyone has legitimate needs. But if we’re after healthy and Christlike relationships—let’s remember to “hold on loosely” by thinking of what’s best for others.

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11 Responses to “hold on loosely”

  1. bethanyF says:

    Praise God for this devotion.

  2. katuti says:

    This is perfect for me in this moment, because we hav to make some decisions about the future of my church and and we are going through hard times. We all need to know and remember what God tells us: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had”

  3. jfranz says:

    Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to

    i find that verse from Philippians incredible.

    i think i have been incredibly guilty of holding on too tightly not to a person but a dream or a promise- a promise that God has been faithful on…. and it breaks my heart how I can take something good and beautiful and holy and ruin it because i wanted it more than i wanted God.

    thank you for pointing me to Jesus.
    He is the only one who can save me from myself and I need that reminder daily.

  4. Autumnlady says:

    It seems to me that I was “directed” to this reading by a divine source because of what I’m struggling with personally today.
    What is funny is not what is being said to me but the attention GOD is giving to me to GET IT! I am so SPECIAL to Him that He is actively pursuing me, consoling me and guiding me to HEAR His word.
    Today I hear ‘hold on loosely’ to dreams and people of this world and lean on ME more tightly. Let ME be your SOURCE for life.

  5. chewyjean says:

    we tend to suffocate people or things in our lives rather than breathe in God who is within and around us. There is a freedom in enjoying the breath of God. Most soundly said “letting go of things and grabbing hold of GOD”.

  6. Paul G says:

    One of the “sure” signs that we love another is when we are willing to give them their freedom (space) even when it may cause us some pain or discomfort.

  7. yenmike says:

    great..yesterday, i have a big problem (big for me) within me and my girlfriend. she decided to work at nearby town but i refused her to go. so i pray to the Lord what should i do next.. And i just open my facebook and become a fan of odj. Amazingly, God speak to me through your devotion, hold on loosely not tightly. Thanks so much. God bless You.

  8. chad says:

    I also came upon this site recently, and I am excited about all the support that is here! Me and my wife have struggles as well. I have some insecurity issues that tend to get in the way and cause trouble for us, but God has been telling me to trust in Him. Instead of focusing too much on situations and always trying to figure them out and working too hard just trust in God! Fall backwards and let Him catch me! I also appreciate the passage from Philippians. Thank you!

  9. jeff olson says:

    chad, good to have you on board.

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