|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You have been set free”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You have been set free from selfishness”
Human beings are selfish by nature. Whether we admit it or not, we are the most important person in our own life. We live inside of our heads, we think about ourselves constantly, and our thoughts center around what we like, what we want, and how we can get it. We think about ourselves much more than we think about anyone else; we talk to ourselves much more than we talk to anyone else; and the bottom line is, we’re motivated by self-preservation, self-promotion, and self-fulfillment. Not totally, of course. The degree to which those things are true of particular individuals may vary from person to person but still, the truth holds that human beings are selfish by nature.
But Jesus sets us free from selfishness. Instead, He teaches us to be selfless. Jesus teaches us, and the Holy Spirit enables us, to think less about ourselves and more about others. This is a marker in our Christian growth. The degree to which we have learned to take our eyes off of ourselves and to focus instead on others is an indication of how much spiritual transformation the Holy Spirit has been able to bring about in our lives. Being selfish is human. Being selfless is Christlike.
In Philippians 2:3-4 Paul urges his readers to be intentional about this. He tells us to make a decision to resist the tendency to think selfishly and to instead determine to humbly think of others first, putting their needs ahead of our own, and then acting on that decision.
Please note that he does not say that we should neglect our own needs. Instead, he says that as we’re looking out for ourselves, we need to be looking out for others as well. But because our natural tendency is to be preoccupied with ourselves and to put our own interests first, it will happen by default. Maybe to the exclusion of considering the interests of others. Therefore, he teaches us to be intentional about looking out for others first. Do that first. Think of them first. Take action on their behalf first. Then, once you have intentionally done that, look out for yourself too.
Learning to be selfless is an important character trait that we Christians need to cultivate if we’re going to become Christlike. This is important, and so we will come back to it tomorrow. In the meantime, know that you have been set free from selfishness.
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