“. . . whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
Sometimes, I like to do what I want, when I want, how I want. Okay, that’s a lie. Truthfully, it’s most times. As much as my heart desires to serve and honor God in all I do and say, all roads seem to lead inward during moments of frustration or inconvenience, and selfishness rears its ugly head.
Yet, through meditating on today’s verse, not only am I convicted by the implications of my self-centeredness, but there is an equal and opposite force creating a keen revelation? my self-service is, in fact, causing a deeper passion to die.
No, not literally, but akin to foregoing my selfish ways because I truly love Jesus and emphatically want to live completely for him. Being a realist, I know this undertaking is a process but, more importantly, Jesus knows my deepest and truest longings. They revealed themselves the day I received Christ as Lord and Savior and, at the end of a particularly self-obsessed day, his knowledge of this yearning heart is all that matters.
Being a Christian doesn’t come with a promise of selflessness but it does guarantee a transformation that, inexplicably, changes the human heart. It’s a daily journey of living by his Spirit as he sheds the old to reveal the new and an ever-increasing hunger to cease saying, “What about me?” in exchange for, “It’s all about you, Jesus!”
May we, as followers of Christ, endeavour to, daily, die to ourselves in order to live for Christ and those in need of our help and prayers.
Precious Father, I struggle each day to put myself aside and pursue the interests of others around me who may be hurting. Yet, you know the deeper longing of my heart that yearns to live a life that’s all about you. Help me shed this selfish skin to reach out in action and prayer for those in need. It is in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Thank God often for his Spirit, who is working in you to transform you more and more into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3.17).
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25 & 28
Do you ever prioritize other people’s needs above your own?
Throughout my adolescent years, my parents often instilled in me the value of selflessness. Admittedly, despite their zealous efforts, my immature rebellious nature compelled me to believe that my desires were first priority. Today’s culture resonates a similar me-first-you-second attitude. Secular media relentlessly reinforces this mindset by indoctrinating us with enticing “me first” messages — cultivating an epidemic of narcissism and entitlement.
A common misconception among today’s believers is that God exists to serve us and to fulfill our every desire. Actually, when we decide to follow Christ, we inherit His counter-cultural mantle of servanthood. Scriptural servanthood, as modeled and asserted by Jesus, means giving life away and prioritizing His will above our own will. In opposition to today’s “me first” environment, following Jesus means purposely and prayerfully forfeiting personal plans and purposes in order to prioritize others needs.
Today, even as a mature believer, I still struggle to overcome selfishness. The enemy can exploit my propensity to prioritize self. To overcome self’s seductive appeal, I intentionally choose to set aside some time to prioritize the needs of society’s marginalized. Serving allows me to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus in His absence. Giving myself away helped me discover the other side of “me” — the side redeemed for His glory — the side chosen for His purposes — the side that chooses to serve despite personal comfort, convenience, and cost.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me to serve. Create in me a servant’s heart. Help me to step outside the comfort and confines of my church and to reflect and serve You in my community. Amen.