Our Bible verse for today: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Serving others helps us overcome our own problems.”
I have always loved the passage in Matthew 6:25-34. It’s often referred to as the “Do not worry” passage and it comes from the Sermon on the Mount. It’s my wife Linda’s favorite passage from the New Testament.
In this passage Jesus talks about daily life issues that we must deal with including the need for food, shelter, and clothes. These are common basic necessities of life, and Jesus cited them simply as examples of the kinds of things we typically worry about. Much of our time, attention, and energy is spent dealing with the challenges of life. Often we put so much of our focus on those things that we neglect other areas of life, especially our relationship with God and the needs of other people. We become so consumed with thoughts of ourselves and our own issues, that there’s not much room left for anything else.
Jesus’ lesson for us in this passage is that our Father in heaven is fully aware of the challenges we are facing in life, and He is committed to caring for us and providing for us. For our parts we are to focus on serving Him and serving others in His name.
Now please don’t misunderstand that. This does not mean that we no longer have a responsibility for helping to solve our own problems. As was noted in yesterday’s devotional, ours is to be an active faith. We have a responsibility to be actively involved in overcoming our own challenges.
But the point of Jesus’ lesson here is that we are not to become so consumed with our own issues that we neglect God and others. Exactly the opposite is true. The more we focus on the Lord and on others, the less consumed we will be with thoughts about our own problems, and therefore the less anxiety and worry we will experience.
When faced with difficult situations or big challenges try taking your eyes off of yourself for a while and focus instead on helping and blessing others. Even secular psychologists tell us that one of the best things a depressed person can do to help break out of their depressed mood is to get out of the house and go do something to help someone else.
Serving others actually helps us to deal with and overcome our own problems.